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Theory Introduction


The Past Continuous is formed with the past tense of the auxiliary verb be + the Present Participle (V-ing)

In the interrogative form the auxiliary verb is placed before the subject.

In the negative form notis placed after the auxiliary verb.

Affirmative Interrogative Negative
I   I I  
He was working Was He working? She He was not working
She   She (wasn’t)
It     It It  
We   We We were working
You were working Were You working You (weren’t)
They     They They  


The Past Continuous tense is used:

1. to express an activity happening at a particular time in the past. (It may be used with a point of time: at 7 yesterday or with a verb in the simple past tense in the subordinate clause: when we came …)

What were you doing at 9 last night? – I was reading a book.

When she got home, the children were sleeping and the dog was sitting in front of the door.

2. to describe an action, event or situation that was in progress at a specified time in the past

In May of last year I was studying hard for my final exams.

3. for descriptions

Helen looked beautiful last night. She was wearing a lovely velvet dress.

4. used without a time expression, it can indicate gradual development

It was getting dark and the wind was rising.

5. used with while the Past Continuous describes two actions that were in progress at the same time

While he was driving along this morning, he was thinking about his new job.


The Past Continuous may be used with the following adverbials: all night, all morning, all day yesterday, the whole evening, since 5 till 7.

I was watching TV all evening yesterday.

The child was sleeping since 1 till 3.

The Past Continuous can express incompleteness when contrasted with the Past Simple.

I read a book yesterday (and finished it).

I was reading a book yesterday (but didn’t finish it).

We discussed this problem at the lesson.

We were discussing this problem at the lesson.



Teaching Models


Ex. 1.Read the text paying attention to the verb forms. Answer the questions given below.

Date: 2015-12-11; view: 779

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