A2 Basic UK 445 Folder Collection
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Hi. Welcome to English Grammar in Use.
Short videos from Cambridge University Press
to help you improve your English.
My name is Anna
and today I'm going to be looking at the past continuous.
We use the past continuous
when we want to talk about an action
in the past
at a certain time.
An action that had started
but not finished.
Let's look at an example.
Yesterday, Karen and Jim
played tennis.
They started at ten o'clock
and finished at eleven thirty.
So,
at ten thirty
they were playing tennis.
They 'were playing'
means they were in the middle of playing.
They hadn't finished playing.
'Was' or
'were'
plus a verb with 'i n g'
is
the past continuous.
For example:
I was playing
she was doing
you were working
and so on.
I was doing something
means that I was in the middle of doing something at a certain time.
The action, or situation,
had already started
before this time
but hadn't finished.
For example:
This time last year
I was living in Brazil.
What were you doing at ten o'clock last night?
Let's compare
the past continuous
and the past simple.
Remember,
the past continuous is 'I was doing'
and the past simple is
'I did'.
The past continuous is used when we want to talk about being in the middle
of an action.
For example:
I was walking home
when I met Dan.
This means
I was in the middle
of walking home.
The past simple is used when we want to talk about an action or situation
that has been completed.
For example:
I walked home after the party last night.
This means I walked all the way home,
so the action was completed.
We often use the past continuous and the past simple together
to say that something happened in the middle of something else.
For example:
It was raining when I got up.
Or, I hurt my back
while I was working in the garden.
But, we use the past simple to say that one thing happened after another.
For example:
I was walking along the road
when I saw Dan.
So I stopped and we had a chat.
Now let's compare two examples:
When Karen arrived,
we were having dinner.
This means
we had started having dinner
before she arrived.
When Karen arrived,
we had dinner.
This means
Karen arrived
and then
we had dinner.
It's important to remember that some verbs,
for example, know,
and
want
are not normally used in the continuous.
For example:
I was enjoying the party,
but Chris
wanted to go home.
We don't say, 'Chris was wanting to go home.'
That's all for today.
Now it's over to you.
Practise using the past continuous
by visiting englishgrammarinuse.cambridge.org
and registering for a free trial of English Grammar in Use Online.
For more information about English Grammar in Use products
visit
www.lovegrammar.org
Bye for now.
See you next time.
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English Grammar in Use: Past Continuous

445 Folder Collection
Gordon published on July 31, 2016
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