Past progresive tense


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Past progresive tense

  1. 1. Past Progressive Tense We use the past continuous to say some one was in the middle of doing something at a certain time. The action or situation had already started before that time.
  2. 2. Yesterday Dave and Jim played tennis. They began at 10:00 and finished at 11:00 •What were they doing at 10:30? (They were playing tennis at 10:30) They were playing means that they were in the middle of playing tennis. They had started playing, but they didn’t finished.
  3. 3. The past continuous does not tell us whether an action was finished or not. Perhaps it was finished or perhaps not  Dan was cooking Dinner (Past Continuous) He was in the middle of cooking dinner and we don’t know whether he had finished.
  4. 4. I was playing You We They were He She It was Past Progressive Tense
  5. 5. Past Progressive tense was I playing? were you we they was he she it I Was not Wasn’t playing You We They were not weren’t He She It was not wasn’t I n t e r r o g a t i v e N e g a t i v e
  6. 6. USE of Interrupted Action in the Past  Use the Past Continuous to indicate that a longer action in the past was interrupted. The interruption is usually a shorter action in the Simple Past.
  7. 7. Examples  I was watching TV when she called.  When the phone rang, she was writing a letter.  What were you doing when the earthquake started?  I was listening to my iPod, so I didn't hear the fire alarm.  Sammy was waiting for us when we got off the plane.  While I was writing the email, the computer suddenly went off.  A: What were you doing when you broke your leg? B: I was snowboarding.
  8. 8. We often use the past continuous (I was doing) and the simple past (I did) together to say that some thing happened in the middle of some thing else:  Dan burned his hand while he was cooking Dinner.  I saw Jim in the park. He was sitting on the grass.  It was raining when I got up.
  9. 9. IMPORTANT  In the Simple Past, a specific time is used to show when an action began or finished. In the Past Progressive, a specific time only interrupts the action. Examples: 1. Last night at 6 PM, I ate dinner. I started eating at 6 PM. 2. Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner. I started earlier; and at 6 PM, I was in the process of eating dinner.
  10. 10. The past simple and the past continuous do not mean exactly the same. Compare: •When Mary arrived, we were having dinner. This means that we already started dinner before Mary arrived. •When Mary arrived, we had dinner. This means that Mary arrived first and then we had dinner.
  11. 11. USE of Parallel Actions  When you use the Past Continuous with two actions in the same sentence, it expresses the idea that both actions were happening at the same time. The actions are parallel.
  12. 12. Examples: 1. I was studying while he was making dinner. 2. While Ellen was reading, Tim was watching television. 3. Were you listening while he was talking? 4. What were you doing while you were waiting? 5. Thomas wasn't working, and I wasn't working either. 6. They were eating dinner, discussing their plans, and having a good time.
  13. 13. USE of Atmosphere  In English, we often use a series of parallel actions to describe the atmosphere at a particular time in the past. Example:  When I walked into the office, several people were typing, some were talking on the phones, the boss was yelling directions, and customers were waiting to be helped. One customer was yelling at a secretary and waving his hands. Others were complaining to each other about the bad service.
  14. 14. USE of Repetition and Irritation with "Always"  The Past Continuous with words such as "always" or "constantly" expresses the idea that something irritating or shocking often happened in the past. The concept is very similar to the expression "used to" but with negative emotion. Remember to put the words "always" or "constantly" between "be" and "verb + ing."
  15. 15. Examples:  She was always coming to class late.  He was constantly talking. He annoyed everyone.  I didn't like them because they were always complaining.
  16. 16. While vs. When  Clauses are groups of words which have meaning, but are often not complete sentences. Some clauses begin with the word "when" such as "when she called" or "when it bit me." Other clauses begin with "while" such as "while she was sleeping" and "while he was surfing." When you talk about things in the past, "when" is most often followed by the verb tense Simple Past, whereas "while" is usually followed by Past Continuous. "While" expresses the idea of "during that time."
  17. 17. Examples:  I was studying when she called.  While I was studying, she called. Study the examples below. They have similar meanings, but they emphasize different parts of the sentence.
  18. 18. What were Mike and Louise doing yesterday?
  19. 19. What were Mike and Louise doing yesterday?
  20. 20. Put the verbs into the correct form Past Progressive or Past simple. 1. George _________ (fall) of the ladder while he ________ (paint) the ceiling. 2. Last night I _________ (read) in bed when suddenly I __________ (hear) a scream. 3. _________ (you/watch) TV? when I called you. 4. Ann ___________ (wait) for me when I ___________ (arrive) 5. I __________ (not/drive) very fast when, the accident _________ (happen) 6. I _________ (break) a plate last night, I ___________ (wash) the dishes when it (slip)_________ out of my hand. 7. We _________ (not/go) out because it ____________ (rain) 8. What ________ (you/do) at this time yesterday? 9. I __________ (see) Carol at the party. She ___________ (wear) a new dress.