+ I/He/She/It was working. You/We/They were working
- I/He/She/It wasn't (= was notj working. You/We/They weren't (= were not)working
? Was l/he/she/it working? Were you/we/they working7
We use the Dast continuous to:
• talk about actions that were not yet finished and continued over a period oftime.
At that time, we were still trying to solve our recruitment problem
Sometimes this period oftime includes anothei event which is completed.
She had an accident while she was driving to work. I was talking to him on the phone when I heard an explosion.
• refer to situations that '«'ere changing over time in the past.
During the 1980s, many of the older industries were closing down. At that time, we were coming out of recession and things were improving.
Past simple and present perfect
Present perfect Form
+ I /You/We/They have worked. He/She/It has worked.
- I/You/He/She/It/We/They haven't (= have not) worked.
? Have l/you/we/they worked? Has he/she/it worked?
1 We use the present perfect to:
• talk about actions that continue from the past to the present. We have been in this business for over 50 years.
(= We are still in business.)
• talk about past events that have an impact in the present. Recently profits have fallen sharply because of strong competition. Genova has had to cut costs by reorganising the workforce.
• talk about life experiences.
He's worked in a number of different firms.
I've been to London on many occasions.
She's never had to lead a team before. (= in her life up to now)
2 Because the time reference includes the present we use time expressions that refer to both present and past.
So far we have captured 30% of the market.
This week, i've written three long reports.
Over the last few days, I have had too much work to do.
Present perfect versus past simple
1 we use the past simple for completed actions that happened in the past. Alex Tew created his website in August 2005.
2 Because the time reference is past, we use time expressions that refer to finished past time
Last year, we increased turnover by 15%.
Five years ago, we didn't have an overseas subsidiary.
She joined the company three months ago.
3 The decision to use the past simple or present perfect depends on how we see the event. If we see it as related to the present, we use the present perfect. If we see it as completed and in the past, we use the past simple
I've known Bill for many years. (= We are still in touch.)
I knew Bill when I was at college. (= We don't keep in touch.)
1 A multi-word verb is a combination of a verb and one or two particles (like at, away, down, in, on, up).
2 Types of multi-word verbs
• without an object
The photocopier has broken down. Something has come up. (= happened)
• with an object - separable
The direct object can come after the verb or before the particle.
Could you turn on the coffee machine?/ Could you turn the coffee machine on?
• with an object - inseparable
The director cannot do without his secretary. (NOT *The director cannot do his secretary without.)
3 In many cases, the multi-word verb is more informal than its synonym.
How did you find out} (= discover the information) We set off early. (= departed)
4 Many multi-word verbs are idiomatic; in other words, their meaning is difficult to interpret. However, it can help if you understand the meanings of the particles. For example:
• away (creating distance)
I'm going away next veek. Don't run away. I need to talk to you.
• on (continuingj
Carry on the good work!
The meeting went on until seven o'clock.
• over (considering)
I need time to think it over
Come and see me, and we'll talk it over.
• up (completing)
Some urgent matters need clearing up. Drink up. We've got to go.
(For further information, consult the Longman Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs)
We use question words such as what, who, where, when, why and how to ask for more information. The question word comes before the auxiliary verb.
To ask about We use
a thing What is the brand name7
Which door is it? Who is the Chief Executive7 Where do you come from? Why are you putting up your prices? What time did the meeting start? When did the goods arrive? How long did you stay in Beijing? How many times have you been to China? How many cases did you order? How much money do you have on you? How do you manage to read so quickly?
We use what if there are many possible answers and which if there ere fewer
What is their policy?
Which of these cases is vours?
If who or what is the subject of the sentence, the word order is the same as in a statement.
Who looks after the travel arrangements? What happens when things go wrong?
If who, what or which asks about the object, we put the auxiliai ó before the subject.
Who shall I get in touch with? What number did you ring? Which restaurant have you chosen?
The question word how can be followed by an adjective or adverb.
a person a place a reason
a moment in time
a period of time the number of times quantity twith plural nouns) quantity (with uncountable nouns) the way you do something
In questions that can be answered with either yes or no, we put an auxiliary verb before the subject.
Yes, I am. / No, I'm not. Yes, I can. / No, I can't. Yes, I do. / No, I don't. Yes, I did. / No, I didn't. Yes, I have. / No, I haven't. Yes, I will. / No, I won't.
Are you coming? Can you drive a truck? Do you know his name? Did you arrive on time? Have you heaid the news? Wil! you have time?
How big is the warehouse? How good is your Spanish? How well do you speak Spanish? How far is the hotel from here? How often do you travel abroad7
1 We use the present continuous for future arrangements.
What are vou doing next weekend? We're visiting our suppliers next w<=ek.
2 We also use going to for arrangements, plans and intentions.
What are you going to do next weekend? We're going to visit our suppliers next week. I'm going to talk to you today about my company.
3 But we do NOT use the present continuous to make predictions for the future. Compare:
The transport strike is going to cause a real problem. (= This is anticipated for the future.) The transport strike is causing a real problem (= The strike has started and the effects are present.)
4 Some verbs, like anticipate expect, look forward to, hope and plan, automatically refer to the future. These verbs can be used in either the simple or continuous form.
I look forward to seeing you soon.
I am looking forward to seeing you soon.
i/l/l° hope to do better next vear.
We are hoping to do better next year.
We plan to attract more foreign investment.
We are planning to attract more foreign investment.