Simple Past Tense & Past Progressive (Continuous).

12 Sep

I am sure you all know about the above mentioned tenses  — how it’s formed and when it’s used; but just to ring you the bell on how to form and use them let me share with you the following:

SIMPLE PAST TENSE: The simple past is used for a completed action that happened at one specific time in the past.

  • John went to Spain last year. (completed action in the past).
  • Bob bought a new bicycle yesterday.
  • Maria did her homework last night.
  • Mark washed the dishes after dinner.
  • We drove to the grocery store this afternoon.
  • George cooked dinner for his family Saturday night.

PAST PROGRESSIVE (CONTINUOUS):  This tense is used to indicate:

  • An action which was occurring in the past (1) and was interrupted by another action(2).

Examples of  Sentences: When Mark came home(1),  Martha was watching television. (2). OR: Martha was watching television when Mark came home.

  • Two actions occurring at the same time in the past.

Examples of Sentences: Martha was watching television while John was reading a book.   OR: While  John was reading a book, Martha was watching television.

  • An action whic h was occurring at some specific time in the past. 

Examples of Sentences: John awas walking  to class when he lost his pen; The student was reading  while the professor was speaking;  George was watching television when  his brother called;  When Mary came  home, her husband was cooking  dinner.

YOUR TASK: Read the above mentioned explanations carefully (several times) then try to do the following exercises.  Put only the correct verbs on my INBOX MESSAGE on my facebook.:

  1. Gene …………….(eat) dinner when his friend called.
  2. While Maria was cleaning the apArtment, her husband …………….(sleep).
  3. At three o’clock this morning, Eleanor …………… (study).
  4. When Mark arrived, the Johnsons ……………(have) dinner, but they stopped in order to talk to him.
  5. John ………………(go) to France last year.
  6. When the teacher …………..(enter) the room, the students were talking.
  7. While Joan was writing the report, Henry ……………(look)for more information.
  8. We…………..(see) this movie last night.
  9. At one time, Mr. Roberts ………………. (own) this building.
  10. Jose …………..(write) a letter to his family when his pencil …………..(break).

h  a  v  e       a     n  i  c  e     d  a  y

Next posting: Present Perfect………


Posted by on September 12, 2011 in English Lessons & Exercises


2 responses to “Simple Past Tense & Past Progressive (Continuous).

  1. aldy

    September 14, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    thanks bunda, you really ring me the bell, i will try to answer: 1.ate 2.slept 3.studied 4.had 5.went. Nice post bunda

    • ycancerina

      September 14, 2011 at 8:56 pm

      Aldy, nice efforts. Please see again my explanation about Past Progressive (Continuous):
      No. 1 was eating (An action which occurring in the past — was eating — and was interrupted by another one. — his friend called.
      No.2 Correct — very good.
      No.3 was studying — An action which was occurring at some specific time in the past. — at three o’clock.
      No.4 were having (same type of No.2).
      No.5 Correct — very good.

      Thank you Aldy.


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