Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lesson 13: The Past Continuous Tense

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The past continuous tense which also known as Past Progressive Tense follows this pattern:

WAS, WERE
+ Verb + -ing


Examples:

  • I was reading the newspaper.
  • She was working in her office.
  • They were driving around the country.


USES OF THE PAST CONTINUOUS TENSE OF A VERB



1.) It contracts the length of time taken by two actions:
the longer action: past continuous
the shorter action: simple past

  • I was studying (past continuous) my lessons when you arrived (simple past).
  • I was listening (past continuous) to music when the rain started (simple past).
  • I am working (past continuous) in my office when the lights went out (simple past).



2.) It describes two actions which both lasted for some time at the same time in the past.

  • We are listening to our teacher while he was writing something.
  • I am working at the office while my wife was washing the clothes in our house.
  • Justin was eating the cake while his girlfriend was talking to him.



3.) It emphasizes the duration of an action rather than the fact that it happened.

  • He was waiting for her for 3 hours last night.
  • Justin was playing the game for 20 hours yesterday.
  • My teachers were teaching the very difficult lesson for 3 days last week.



4.) It expresses the idea that a finished action continued through a point in the past.

  • Early this morning, he was asking many questions.
  • Two years ago, they were always running in the field.
  • When he was young, Mr. Smith was always reading that book.


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Exercise:


Use the past continuous tense of a verb in answering each question below.


Example:


> Was it moving when I told you the truth?
>It was moving when you told me the truth.


1.) Were you watching TV when I called you?

2.) Was it raining when you went out with your friends?

3.) Was the boy climbing the tree when he fell down?

4.) Were you feeling good when you woke up this morning?

5.) Was the doctor seeing another patient while you were sitting in the waiting room?




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~end of lesson~

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