Past Tense and Past Continuous Verbs Kristi Reyes Level 6 ESL
Simple Past Tense • Actions, events, states that started and finished in the past (…ago, last …, yesterday… ) • Regular verbs: -ed • Irregular verbs: change spelling, memorize
Tell your partner – use past tense verbs! • What did you do yesterday? • What did you do last Saturday night? • Where were you last Sunday morning? • What did you do to celebrate your last birthday? • When did you move to the U.S.? • When did you learn to drive? • Why did you start taking classes at MiraCosta College? • How did you learn to speak English so well?
Past Continuous: Three Uses • Use 1:Past actions that were in progress at a particular time in the past; actions that were not yet finished at a past time Pablo’s Schedule 8 – 9: had breakfast 9 – 10: finished his homework 10 – 11: read the newspaper 11 – 12: ate lunch 12 – 2: watched soccer match on TV 2 – 5: took a nap
Tell a classmate – use past continuous verbs:I was _______ing • Where were you last Thursday at 8 p.m.? What were you doing? • What were you doing Friday at 5 p.m.? Where were you? Who were you with? • What were you doing Sunday morning at 7 a.m.? • What were you doing last night at this time? • What were you doing last week at this time? • What were you doing last year at this time?
Past Continuous, continued • Use 2: Two (or more) actions that were in progress in the past at the same time • Use while • Examples: Sorry, I wasn’t listening to you while you were talking. While I was reading, he was writing.
Past Continuous, continued • Use 3: Describe and set the scene; tell what was happening or in progress when something else happened or interrupted a past in-progress action • Examples: Car accident Broken bone A Crime
Form: Using past and past continuous together • Use past continuous to say what was in progress I was crossing the street … • Use simple past for the interrupting action when the driver ran the red light.
Other examples: I was sleeping when the telephone rang and wokeme up. He was driving too fast when he crashed the car.
More Examples: We were watching the news when the announcer made a special live report. I was trying to study when you called. Student examples:
Practice: Do you have a good memory?Are you a good witness? • Directions: Look at the following picture for one minute. Try to remember as many details as you can, but don’t write anything.
Only one minute… • Ready, go ….
What do you remember? • How many people were there? • Where were the people? • What was hanging from the ceiling? • What was the bank robber holding? • What was the bank robber wearing? • What color was his hair? • What was covering the bank robber’s face? • Was the bank robber right-handed or left-handed? • What was the bank manager doing? • What was the bank teller doing? • Who was walking into the bank? • What time was it? • What was under the bank manager’s desk?
Form of Past Continuous Subject + was / were + verb+ing Negation: Subject + was / were + not + verb+ing Yes/ No Question: Was / Were + subject + + verb+ing ? Information Question: (WH) + Was / Were + subject + + verb+ing ?
A little practice 1. I (make) ____________________ a deposit at my bank when a man in a mask (pull) ____________________ out a gun and started to rob the bank. 2. I (drive) ____________________ to work when I (see) ____________________ my neighbor’s door open and someone in the house. 3. They (walk) on the sidewalk when a car (hit) ____________________ the person closest to the road. 4. She (talk) ____________________ to a friend at the mall when a man (come) ____________________ up behind her and (grab) ____________________ her purse. 5. I (watch) ____________________ TV when I (hear) shouting and gunshots next door. 6. I (work) ____________________ in the garden and my son (find) ____________________ some matches and (start) ____________________ a fire in the living room.
Review • Simple past = action or state finished in the past (yesterday, last…, … ago, etc.) • Past continuous = was/were + verb+ing, an action that was in progress/not finished when another action happened (interrupted)
Writing: Which is correct? • I (sleep) well last night. • I (sleep) when the first started. • When I got up this morning, it (rain). • It (rain) hard last night. • Susie fell when she (play) in the park. • We (have) dinner when you called. • I (write) an email when you called me. • He (paint) the walls yesterday. • She (drive) to Los Angeles in her new car.
Final Tips … • Use while for two actions in progress at the same time in the past: She was talking while he was driving. • Use when when telling about sequence of events (one action that was in progress that was interrupted by another event in the past): I was just leaving when you called. (first action in progress) (interrupting event)
Punctuation with When and While • When and while at the front of a sentence, use a comma: When you called, I was watching TV. While he was washing the clothes,I was doing the dishes. • When and while in the middle of a sentence, no comma I was watching TV when you called. I was doing the dishes while he was washing the clothes.
Questions? • Practice on textbook pages 42 - 43 • For more practice: Forming and Using the Past Continuous Quiz Yourself