Actions, events, states that started and finished
in the past (…ago, last …, yesterday… )
Regular verbs: -ed
Irregular verbs: change spelling, memorize
What did you do yesterday?
What did you do last Saturday night?
Where were you last Sunday morning?
What did you do to celebrate your last birthday?
When did you move to the U.S.?
When did you learn to drive?
Why did you start taking classes at MiraCosta
How did you learn to speak English so well?
Past actions that were in progress at a particular time in
the past; actions that were not yet finished at a past time
8 – 9: had breakfast
9 – 10: finished his
10 – 11: read the
11 – 12: ate lunch
12 – 2: watched soccer
match on TV
2 – 5: took a nap
Where were you last Thursday at 8 p.m.? What
were you doing?
What were you doing Friday at 5 p.m.? Where
were you? Who were you with?
What were you doing Sunday morning at 7 a.m.?
What were you doing last night at this time?
What were you doing last week at this time?
What were you doing last year at this time?
Use 2: Two (or more) actions that were in
progress in the past at the same time
Sorry, I wasn’t listening to you while you were
While I was reading, he was writing.
Use 3: Describe and set the scene; tell what was
happening or in progress when something else
happened or interrupted a past in-progress action
continuous to say
what was in
I was crossing the
Use simple past for
when the driver ran the
I was sleeping when the telephone rang and
woke me up.
He was driving too fast when he crashed the
We were watching the news when the announcer
made a special live report.
I was trying to study when you called.
Directions: Look at the following picture for one
minute. Try to remember as many details as you
can, but don’t write anything.
How many people were there?
Where were the people?
What was hanging from the ceiling?
What was the bank robber holding?
What was the bank robber wearing?
What color was his hair?
What was covering the bank robber’s face?
Was the bank robber right-handed or left-handed?
What was the bank manager doing?
What was the bank teller doing?
Who was walking into the bank?
What time was it?
What was under the bank manager’s desk?
Subject + was / were + verb+ing
Subject + was / were + not + verb+ing
Yes/ No Question:
Was / Were + subject + + verb+ing ?
(WH) + Was / Were + subject + +
Verb ending in...
1 vowel + 1 consonant
1 vowel + 1 consonant + E
How to make the -ING form
Double the consonant, then add -ING
say - saying
go - going
walk - walking
swim - swimming
hit - hitting
get - getting
Remove E, then add –ING
come - coming
lose - losing
live – living
Change –ie to y, then add -ING
die – dying
tie -- tying
1. I (make) ____________________ a deposit at my bank when a man in a
mask (pull) ____________________ out a gun and started to rob the bank.
2. I (drive) ____________________ to work when I (see)
____________________ my neighbor’s door open and someone in the
3. They (walk) on the sidewalk when a car (hit) ____________________
the person closest to the road.
4. She (talk) ____________________ to a friend at the mall when a man
(come) ____________________ up behind her and (grab)
____________________ her purse.
5. I (watch) ____________________ TV when I (hear) shouting and
gunshots next door.
6. I (work) ____________________ in the garden and my son (find)
____________________ some matches and (start) ____________________
a fire in the living room.
Simple past = action or state finished in the past
(yesterday, last…, … ago, etc.)
Past continuous = was/were + verb+ing, an action
that was in progress/not finished when another
action happened (interrupted)
I (sleep) well last night.
I (sleep) when the first started.
When I got up this morning, it (rain).
It (rain) hard last night.
Susie fell when she (play) in the park.
We (have) dinner when you called.
I (write) an email when you called me.
He (paint) the walls yesterday.
She (drive) to Los Angeles in her new car.
Use while for two actions in progress at the same
time in the past:
She was talking while he was driving.
Use when when telling about sequence of events
(one action that was in progress that was
interrupted by another event in the past):
I was just leaving when you called.
(first action in progress)
When and while at the front of a sentence,
use a comma:
When you called, I was watching TV.
While he was washing the clothes, I was doing
When and while in the middle of a sentence,
I was watching TV when you called.
I was doing the dishes while he was washing the