ao camciicamcioo's: Past Continuous camciio's









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Kamis, 24 Maret 2011

Past Continuous

Quick example:
  • What were you doing then?
  • I was eating the dinner when someone knocked at the door.
  • When he was sleeping, I was working hard
  • I was wondering if you could help me.

We usually use The Past Continuous (Progressive) to talk about longer actions in progress in the past. The actions can be interruped by something ("He was reading when she arrived") or can be happening at the same some ("She was learning English when he was watching TV"). There are also two other uses.
Use
  1. Actions in progress (in the past)
  2. Interrupted actions in progress (in the past)
  3. Actions in progress at the same time (in the past).
  4. Irritation over something or somebody (in the past)
  5. Timid / polite question
USE 1: Actions in progress
We use the Past Continuous to express the idea that an action was in progress in the past.

Examples:
  • I was watching TV yesterday in the evening.
  • She was not crying.
USE 2: Interrupted actions in progress
The Past Continuous is often used when one actions in progress is interruped by another action in the past. We usually use "when" to link these two actions. Sentences usually have this form:

[ Sentence in Past Continuous ] + WHEN + [Sentence in Past Simple ]

WHEN + [ Sentence in Past Continuous ] + [Sentence in Past Simple ]

or:

[ Sentence in Past Simple ] + WHEN + [ Sentence in Past Continuous ]

Examples:
  • I was talking with James when the telephone rang.
  • The plane crashed when Angelica was playing tennis.

To understand this use better, watch this interactive animation:

[ Peter: When I was jogging, someone stopped me and asked what time it was ]

Explanation

In this cartoon, you can see a man who says: "When I was jogging someone stopped me and asked what time it was.".

  • Why is this in Past Continuous? Click on the button labled "event 1". You can see that the man is jogging. This is a continuous action. Suddenly, another man stops him and asks what time it is. This is "event 2". Notice that the action of jogging is interrupted by event 2. This is why the use of Past Continuous is correct here.

USE 3: Actions in progress at the same time
We also use this tense to show that two actions are taking place at the same.

Examples:
  • I was watching TV and Barbara was reading a book.
  • The family was eating the dinner and talking.
USE 4: Timid / polite questions
If we want to ask a polite question, we can use the Past Continuous.

Examples:
  • I was wondering if you could open the window.
  • I was thinking you might help me with this problem.
Even though the sentences have a Past Continuous form, they refer to the present moment. Their meaning is similar to the "could you" sentences, but they are more polite.
USE 5: Irritation
Remember that you can also express irritation over somebody or something in the past.

Examples:
  • She was always coming late for dinner!
Form
To form a sentence in the Past Continuous, what you need is:
  1. The proper conjugation of the auxiliary verb "to be" in the past form
  2. The Present Participle of your verb (verb + ing)

1. Auxiliary verb "to be"
The past form of the auxiliary verb "to be" is:
  1. For third person singular: "was"
  2. For all others: "were"
Examples:
  • She was always coming late for dinner!
  • You were always coming late for dinner!

2. The Present Participle
The present participle is of a verb is a verb form that appears with the present tenses. The present participle is formed by adding -ing to the verb.
  • talk + ing = talking
  • be + ing = being
There are exceptions.

Positive Sentences
Subject + Auxiliary verb + Verb + ing
e.g. I/a dog etc. was / were e.g. swimming/talking etc.

A rhinoceros was swatting flies with his tail when suddenly a fly bit him (Use 2)
    Examples Use
    Have you been running? (Use 2)
    Has Tom been walking the dog? (Use 2)
    How long have you been learning English? (Use 1)
    Q: What have you been doing there?
    A: I've been eating
    (Use 1 or Use 2)

Questions
Auxiliary verb + Subject + Verb + ing
was / were e.g. I/a dog etc. e.g. swimming/talking etc.
    Examples Use
    Have you ever seen this program? (Use 1)
    Where has she lived for the past 21 years? (Use 3)
    Have you found the telephone number? (Use 1,2)
    Have you ever been to France? (Use 1)
    Has anyone taken my bag? (Use 1,2)

Negative Sentences
Subject + Auxiliary verb + Verb + ing
e.g. I/a dog etc. was not / were not e.g. swimming/talking etc.
Examples Use
He hasn't taken any drug for two years (Use 3)
I haven't met my perfect partner yet (Use 3)
They haven't contacted you, have they? (Use 1)

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