simple past vs. past continuous

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A very good ppt.

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Simple Past vs. Past Continuous : 

Simple Past vs. Past Continuous When do we use each tense?

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Elementary, my dear Watson! Past Simple & Past Progressive

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Simple Past (Examples) Action that was completed in the past: Tom went fishing last week. I worked until 2:00 p.m. yesterday. My family came to visit me last year. *Time Expressions frequently used with the simple past: yesterday, last ______, past dates (in 1990), _____ ago, etc.

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Past Continuous (Examples) Action that was in progress at a particular point in the past: At 2:00 yesterday, Tom was playing soccer. Sophia wasn’t home last night when I called her. I think she was working. Lisa and her husband were visiting us last week.

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Use the simple past for: 1) action that happened in the past and is . . . over, done, finished Use the past continuous for: action that was in progress at a specific point in the past OR 2) focusing on an action that continued for a long time in the past

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Grammar Structure: Here are some reminders about how to make the simple past and past continuous:

For regular verbs, simply use the –ed form of the verb in a positive sentence. : 

For regular verbs, simply use the –ed form of the verb in a positive sentence. When I was a child, I ___________ the piano. Donna ______________ and _______________ in Paris when she was younger. played lived studied **Be careful with spelling changes!

For irregular verbs, use the correct past tense form in positive sentences. : 

For irregular verbs, use the correct past tense form in positive sentences. Last week, I ___________ you a letter. The students _____________ a speech in English. They __________ a great job! Unfortunately, these forms must be memorized! sent gave did

The Past Continuous: : 

The Past Continuous: Don’t forget that VERB BE is part of this structure. I, He, She, It WAS You, We, They WERE verb -ING +

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Examples: My mom was trying to call me last night, but I wasn’t home. The kids were studying last night at 9:00. I was cleaning my house all day yesterday.

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Past Continuous (Negative) For this tense, simply ADD the word NOT after the verb BE. They were arguing last night. They were NOT arguing last night. She was yelling at me. She was NOT yelling at me.

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What were you saying? I wasn’t listening… I was just telling you that… Hum… I’m terribly sorry…

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What were you doing last night at 10:25, Ms. Jamieson? I was dinning out with my friends

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Important Note about Past Continuous! Some verbs are NOT typically used in the continuous tense. Instead, we prefer to use these verbs in the simple tenses (simple present or past). These verbs are called STATIVE (or non-action) verbs. Here are some examples: want like love hate know need see hear believe understand have (possession) forget remember belong

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Examples: I liked Rome. NOT: I was liking Rome. She had a headache. NOT: She was having a headache. I knew the answer. NOT: I was knowing the answer. _____________ _____________ _____________

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Using both tenses together: Sometimes we use both the simple past and the past continuous together to mean . . . That one action (simple past) interrupted a continuing action (past continuous) Examples . . .

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Dan burned his hand while he was cooking dinner. =in the middle of cooking dinner, he burned his hand. 2. When Helen called, we were having dinner. =in the middle of eating dinner, Helen called. continuing action = past continuous interrupting action = simple past

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While / As + Past Progressive

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* I was watching TV when she called. * When the phone rang, she was writing a letter. * While we were having the picnic, it started to rain. * What were you doing when the earthquake started? * I was listening to my iPod, so I didn't hear the fire alarm. * You were not listening to me when I told you to turn the oven off. * While John was sleeping last night, someone stole his * While I was writing the email, the computer suddenly went off.

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Mr. Bullock was climbing the stairs when he tripped and fell… Mr. Bullock climbed the stairs when he tripped and fell…

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Did you hear or see anything strange last night at 10:25? I was preparing to go to bed when I heard someone screaming. Well, I was trying to read last night around 10:15 when I saw a strange light at my window.

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Past Progressive Mr.Bullock and Ms. Jamieson were arguing about something… …when I walked into the room. Past Simple

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