LESSON SEVEN GRAMMAR: tenses with since and for; Past Progressive.
Sentences with since usually have a perfect tense. But past tenses are possible in the time expression after since. Compare: I’ve known her since 1980. I’ve known her since we were students.
A present tense is sometimes used in the main clause to talk about changes. Note also the structure It is…since … . Examples: She looks quite different since her illness. It’s a long time since lunch.
Sentences with for have a perfect tense when the meaning is ‘time up to now’, but other tenses are used with other meanings, examples: I’ve known her for ages. I was in that school for three years. She’s staying for another week. He’ll be in hospital for a month.
Use Past Progressive to say that something was going on around a particular past time, example: “What were you doing at 1.00 last night?” “I was watching TV.”
We can use Past Progressive and Past Simple together. Past Progressive: longer background action or situation. Past Simple: shorter action that interrupted it or happened in the middle. Examples: As I was walking down the road I saw Bill. The phone rang while I was having dinner.
Progressive forms are used for temporary actions and situations. For longer, more permanent situations we prefer Past Simple. Compare: When I walked in I found that water was running down the walls. Explorers believed that the river ran into the Atlantic.
We do not normally use Past Progressive to talk about past habits, or to say how often something happened. Examples: I played a lot of tennis when I was younger. She rang the bell three times.
Remember that some verbs are not used in progressive forms, example: I tried the cake to see how it tasted.
Task 1. Write the verbs in the Past Continuous.
1). When I arrived, Ivan (lie) on the sofa and (speak) over the phone. 2). He couldn’t speak because he (die) of laugh. 3). “What you (do) between one and two? I phoned you several times”. “ I (play) the piano and heard nothing”. 4). When I got up that morning, the sun (shine) brightly and the birds (sing). 5). When you rang me yesterday, I (have) a bath. 6). I (sit) by the window when I heard the noise. 7). Just as Vasilchikov (cross) the street, a car came round the corner. 8). I glanced at Mary who (still shiver) from the cold. 9). At six o’clock I (wait) for Jennie at the station. 10). On coming up to the house I saw a man who (try) to unlock the door by force.
Task 2. Past Continuous or Past Simple?
1). I saw a light in your window as I (pass) by (A. passed. B. was passing). 2). Yesterday as I was walking down Charry Lane, I (meet) Vasily, an old friend of mine (A. met. B. was meeting). 3). Zina’s elder brother said that he (go) to enter Leeds University (A. went. B. was going). 4). While he (wait) for my call, somebody knocked at the door (A. waited. B. was waiting). 5). We (just talk) about him when he suddenly (come) in (A. just talked. B. were just talking. C. came in. D. was coming in). 6). Yesterday while Kirill (shave), he (cut) himself slightly (A. shaved. B. was shaving. C. cut. D. was cutting). 7). They (quarrel) while they (wash) their car (A. quarrelled. B. were quarrelling. C. washed. D. were washing). 8). When Jim came out of the army he … what to do (A. is wondering). B. has wondered. C. was wondering). 9). His parents were sick, they didn’t have much money, so they … pretty desperate (A. were getting. B. are getting. C. have gotten). 10). Meanwhile in the village most people … to go skiing (was preparing. B. were preparing. C. are preparing). 11). Those who couldn’t do it … TV or looking through the newspapers (A. were watching. B. have watched. C. are watching).
Task 3. Past Continuous or Past Simple?
1). I (wait) for you at 10. Why you (not to come)? 2). What you (do) when I (ring) you up? 3). You (not to wait) for me, (be) you? 4). I (have dinner) when you (ring) me up. 5). Yevgeniya (make) supper in the kitchen when I (come) in. 6). Vadim and Valentin (speak) in the corridor when we (see) them. 7). I (hurry) to the canteen when I (meet) you. 8). We (have) our English at 10 in the morning. 9). Who you (talk) to when I (call) you? 10). What you (talk) about when I (come) in?
Task 4. Write sentences about these situations with since and for.
1). Jake runs a small business. He started doing this five years ago. 2). Andy lives in Dublin. He moved there last year. 3). Helen plays the piano. She started two years ago. 4). Yelena has a Mercedes. She bought it five years ago. 5). Jan is living with Pete. This started in 1994. 6). Sammy is learning Turkish. He started four years ago.