Simple Past and Past ontinuous

pastcontinuous

As you notice here in the chart, we have two types of verbs:

 

It’s very important to learn the list of irregular verbs. What I suggest is that you should learn four verbs everyday. Keep a small notebook, which you can put in your pocket, and write down four irregular verbs every day. You can look at them the whole day, on the bus, between two courses, whenever you are free and try to use them in examples. You should keep on repeating this process until you know them all.

 

  1. I helped my mother yesterday.
  2. I didn’t help my mother yesterday
  3. Did you help your mother yesterday?
  4. He trained karate last week.
  5. …………………………………………………………….
  6. …………………………………………………………….
  7. They watched a movie last night.
  8. ………………………………………………………………………
  9. ……………………………………………………………………..
  10. We had our breakfast two hours ago.
  11. ……………………………………………………………………..
  12. …………………………………………………………………….
  13. Omar called his friend last weekend.
  14. …………………………………………………………………….
  15. …………………………………………………………………….
  16. You got up late yesterday.
  17. ……………………………………………………………………
  18. ……………………………………………………………………
  19. James bought a nice car last month.
  20. …………………………………………………………………….
  21. …………………………………………………………………….
  22. My brother missed his class this morning.
  23. ………………………………………………………………….
  24. ………………………………………………………………….
  25. They got married in 1990.
  26. …………………………………………………………………..
  27. ………………………………………………………………….
  28. They worked hard last year.
  29. …………………………………………………………………
  30. ………………………………………………………………….
  31. We travelled last summer.
  32. …………………………………………………………………
  33. …………………………………………………………………

MEANING:

We use the simple past for a definite action in the past, when we know the time of the action.

Example:

I prepared dinner last night.
When did you prepare dinner?  Last night
He played a football match yesterday.
When did he play a football match? Yesterday.
They got married in1990.
When did they get married? In 1990.
I rode my bike to school when I was in the primary school.

Last night, yesterday, in 1990, when I was in the primary school are adverbs of time which show us when the action happened in the past. The simple past is always used with an adverb of time such as: yesterday, last + noun, …………ago, when…………..

USE:

We use the simple past to talk about the past and to evoke its souvenirs.

I still keep in mind the epoch when I was in the primary school; I didn’t enjoy it much because our teachers were very stern with us. They beat us with a stick without mercy. Some teachers used an iron ruler to discipline their students in the cold winter. However, I had some haunting souvenirs with my friends. We used to play in the school yard and share everything: toys, food, even clothes. What a treasured period!

 

THE PAST CONTINUOUS:

FORM:

Affirmative

Negative

Interrogative

I /he/she/it was playing

I/he/she/it was not (wasn’t) playing

Was I/he/she/it playing?

We/you/they were playing

We/you/they were not (weren’t) playing

Were we/you/they playing?

 

  1. Conjugate the following verbs to the past continuous:

 

    1. I (do)……………………my homework at 8:30 last night.
    2. What you (do)……………………..at this same time last night?
    3. We (not pay)…………………attention when the teacher (explain)……………………….the lesson.
    4. She (cook)……………….dinner while I (watch)…………………TV.
    5. The wind (blow)………………………..strongly last night.
    6. They (sleep)………………………when you arrived.
    7. (He prepare)……………………for the exam ?
    8. (It rain)……………………….at 6 o’clock?
    9. No, It (not rain)……………………… . It (snow)
    10. We (travel)………………………….when the car break down.

MEANING:

We use the pat continuous for:

  1. Two parallel actions in the past. Two actions happening at the same time:

 

While my mother was cooking dinner, I was doing my homework.
The students were listening while the teacher was explaining the lesson.

 

  1. An action which is interrupted by another.

 
While the teacher was explaining the lesson, someone knocked at the door.
We were watching TV when the lights went out.

  1. To express gradual development :

 

   The wind was blowing strongly.
It was getting dark.

 

USE:
We use the past continuous to talk about narratives:

Last night, while my mother was cooking dinner, my father was reading the newspaper, I was doing my homework, and suddenly we heard a big noise on the roof. When I went upstairs to see what was happening, I found out that it was a burglar who was trying to force the door of the upstairs’ room.

I . Use the simple past or the past continuous:

  1. I (spend) ……………………..two days in Merzouga last week.
  2. He (travel)……………………by plane last summer.
  3. What time (you get up)………………………..  yesterday?
  4. What (you do)………………………..at this same time yesterday?
  5. I (watch)……………………….a movie.
  6. While he (come back)……………………..home, he (see)………….an accident.
  7. She (wash)…………………the clothes while her mother (clean)……………the house.
  8. They (get)………………..married twenty years ago.
  9. How long ago (you start)…………………….studying English?
  10. I (start)…………………….studying English three years ago.
  11. She (be)……………….obese when she was a child.
  12. While we (play)………………….football; it (start)………………….to rain.
  13. They (do)…………………….their homework yesterday.
  14. Someone (ring)………………….the bell while they (did)………………their homework.
  15. Where (you go)………………………..last summer holidays?
  16. I (stay)………………….at home last weekend. I (not go)………………..anywhere.
  17. (You enjoy)……………….the match last Sunday?
  18. I (not enjoy) …………………….it . It (be) …………………..boring.
  19. When (the bus leave)…………………………..?
  20. He (not go)…………………….to bed early last night.
  21. They (have)………………….breakfast three hours ago.
  22. The police (arrest)…………………….the thief last Tuesday morning.
  23. The wind (blow)…………………..while they were asleep.
  24. I (watch)…………………..TV when I (fall asleep)……………………….. .
  25. While he (read)…………………….., he (listen)…………………to music.
  26. How (she go)………………………..to work last year?
  27. Why (he rush)…………………………to work yesterday.
  28. What (you do) ………………………..last holidays?
  29. I (not do)………………………….anything special.
  30. How fast (he drive)……………………..when he (have)………………..the accident.
  31. He (drive)……………………..160 kilometres an hour.
  32. (the students listen)……………………..when the teacher (explain)………………the lesson?
  33. It (be)…………………..hot when we (get)…………………..into town.