The Forms of the Past Continuous (Progressive) — КиберПедия 

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The Forms of the Past Continuous (Progressive)

2017-05-23 940
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affirmative Sub was/were Ving. Kate was walking in the park at 6 o’clock yesterday.   The children were sleeping from 1 till 2 o’clock.
negative Sub was/were not Ving. (Sub wasn’t/ weren’t Ving) Kate was not (wasn’t) walking in the park at 7 o’clock yesterday. The children were not (weren’t) sleeping from 2 till 3 o’clock yesterday.
interrogative Was/were Sub Ving? Was Kate walking in the park at 5 o’clock yesterday? Yes, she was. No, she wasn’t. Were the children sleeping from 1 till 4 o’clock yesterday? Yes, they were. No, they weren’t


Exercise 1. Read the sentences and explain the use of the Past Continuous Tense:

Model: Martin was waiting for a bus for half an hour yesterday.

We use the Past Continuous Tense, to denote an action, taking place at a concrete moment in the past.

  1. Jane was waiting for me when I arrived.
  2. When I was washing the floor, my brother was repairing our radio-set.
  3. I broke the window, when I was trying to open it.
  4. Last year this time, I was living in Paris. I was walking along the beautiful streets all days long.
  5. The new comedy was so funny that we were laughing all the time, we were watching it.
  6. Jane lost her expensive purse, when she was riding Mike’s bike.
  7. While Helen was making up, her friends were arranging a marvelous birthday party for her.
  8. When the Clarks had free time, they were spending their evenings together, they were chatting, sipping their hot tea.
  9. When the mother was coming up to the house, she saw her son, who was walking along the street with his friends.


Exercise 2. Make up interrogative and negative variants of the sentences:

Model: I was reading the book the whole evening yesterday.

Were you reading the book the whole evening yesterday?

No, I wasn’t. I wasn’t reading the book the whole evening yesterday.

1. He was skating yesterday from 5 till 7 o’clock.

2. It is too smoky here. Mr. Stern and Mr. Andre were smoking here during two hours.

3. She was watching TV the whole evening yesterday.

4. He was writing the difficult article the whole week.

5. Last weekend he was telling us for two hours about his trip to India.

6. The children were learning to ride a bike all summer.

7. We were working at the problem during three months.

8. He was delivering the speech for 30 minutes.

9. Andy and Toby were looking for the post-office for some minutes.

Exercise 3. Open the brackets, using the Past Indefinite or the Past Continuous:

  1. I (to go) to the institute yesterday when I (to see) a house on fire.
  2. What you (to do) yesterday? – I (to work) in the morning and (to skate) in the afternoon.
  3. They (to come) in when I (to have dinner) with my friend
  4. I (to read) a newspaper when you (to ring) me up.
  5. When I (to see) him, he (to stand) in the street.
  6. I (not to go out) last night, because it (to rain).
  7. As my brother (to get off) the tram, he (to fall) and (to break) his leg.
  8. I (to see) that Kate (to sit) at the nearest table.
  9. On Sunday, when I (to come) from a walk I (to meet) my neighbour.
  10. When I (to awake) in the morning it (to be) so late that the sun (to shine) high in the sky.
  11. She (to see) Henry, who (to look) at the picture.
  12. He (not to see) me, as he (to read) a book when I (to come) into the room.
  13. The ship (to start) at once, because the wind then (to blow) in the right direction.
  14. She (to live) with her brother in the South when she (to meet) Ann.

Exercise 4. Look at the way the Stevensons were spending there Saturday evening.

a) open the brackets, using the Past Indefinite or the Past Continuous:

Model: Mr. Stevenson (to look) through the last newspapers and (to smoke) an old pipe. – Mr. Stevenson was looking through the last newspapers and was smoking an old pipe.

Mr. Stevenson (to look) through the last newspapers and (to smoke) an old pipe.

Mrs. Stevenson (to drink) tea and (to tell) her friend about her favourite recipe over phone. Norma, their older daughter (to read) an adventure book. As for her younger sister, Stella, she (to sit) next to granny and (to look) at the way she (to knit) a new woolen pullover for her. Little Jimmy at first (to play) his toys, but when he (to notice) that his sister and granny (to whisper) something and (to smile), he (to decide) to come up to them. Thus he (to come) closer to see what his dearest granny and sister (to do). Alex, the oldest child in the family, (not to be) at home. He (to watch) an interesting performance at the theatre. His friend and he, watching the play (to understand), that the critics were right, saying that the director was genius.

b) But next morning was quite different:

Say that the members of the family were not doing the same things on Sunday morning, and describe their actions, using Past Continuous or Past Simple if necessary.

Model: Mr. Stevenson wasn’t looking through the last newspapers and wasn’t smoking an old pipe. He was packing necessary things into his huge traveling bag, as he and his older son were going to go fishing.

Prompts: to cook a substantial breakfast, to make up some meat sandwiches, to wash one’s hands and face, to make one’s bed, to have a shower, to treat one’s toys to tea, to help mother about the kitchen, to watch a very interesting TV program, to tell about one’s impressions of the play, to tell about the main rules of fishing.

c) Make up questions of different types, concerning the Stevensons’ activities on Sunday morning. Ask your partner to answer the questions.

a. General questions (5)

b. Disjunctive questions (5)

c. Special questions (5)

d. Alternative questions (5)

Exercise 5. Make up a description of a party, you visited last time.

Use the key words and the Past Indefinite and the Past Continuous Tenses.

a) Describe what the quests were doing when you entered the room:

Key-words: to chat, to laugh, to a new photo-album, to dance, to play chess, to discuss an interesting football match, to sip red wine, to eat tasty sandwiches, to pour stewed fruit, to treat sb to, to recognize, to sing, to feel at home, to be friendly, to know, to get acquainted.

Model: Unfortunately I got stuck in a traffic jam and that’s why I failed to come to the party in time. When I came to Jessica’s place I saw that there were a lot of quests and I knew the majority of them…

b) Work in pairs: one of you was ill and couldn’t attend the party you mutual friend had arranged. Ask your partner about all the details of the party. Ask all the types of questions. Answering the questions, use the key words, given above.

Past Perfect Tense


Pattern: I had been to London before, so I know the city quite well.

a) The Past Continuous Tense is used to denote an action, that happened before some concrete moment in the past

Markers: by 5 o’clock, before (the meeting, the dinner party…), by the end of the year (month, week), by that time, in reported speech: never, ever.

Example: I had left for Kiev by the first of June.

b) This tense is used to show the action, which completed before another action in the past:

Markers: already, by the time, by the moment.

Example: I had already cooked the dinner by the time my mother came.

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