Jan 262013

In this episode of iswearenglish 100: Formation and Use of Tenses in English series you can learn about how to form the Past Continuous.

How To Form The Past Continuous:
Take a subject (I, the children etc) then put the past simple in the appropriate form of the verb to be (was, were) and finally to this add the gerund( compliment plus …ing) of the verb you wish to use (learning). I was learning. To make negative phrases add the word not after the auxiliary verb to be. This gives: I was not learning. This can be shortened to I wasn’t learning. To make interrogatives swap the position of the subject and the auxiliary verb to be. This gives us: Was I learning? The table set out below shows how it works:

Affirmative Negative Interrogative
I was learning I was not learning Was I learning?
You were learning You were not learning Were you learning?
He was learning He was not learning Was he learning?
She was learning She was not learning Was she learning?
It was learning It was not learning Was it learning?
We were learning We were not learning Were we learning?
You were learning You were not learning Were you learning?
They were learning They were not learning Were they learning?

The past continuous, how to form it. OK? Take a subject I. Then use the auxiliary verb to be in the past simple. I was. Then take your verb in the infinitive without to, the compliment, for example learn and add …ing to make your present participle or gerund, learning. So put that together, I was learning. That was first person. To make the second person, you were learning. He was learning. She was learning.It was learning. We were learning.You were learning.They were learning. To make negatives put not after the auxiliary be. I was not learning, or I wasn’t learning. You were not learning. You weren’t learning. He was not learning. She wasn’t learning. It wasn’t learning. We were not learning. You weren’t learning. They weren’t learning. To make questions change the position of the subject and the auxiliary verb to be. So. Was I learning? Were you learning? Was he learning? Were we learning? Were you learning? Were they learning? So that’s how to make the past continuous. In the next video I’ll explain when to use it. The function of the past continuous. Thanks for watching.

How To Use The Past Continuous:
We use the past continuous for actions or situations that were occurring during a period of time is now finished. For example: In 1988 I was living in France. We also use it for actions that were occurring before, at and probably after a specific point of time in the past. At 4 PM yesterday I was working. It is very common to use the past continuous as a contrast to the past simple. It is very common to use when and while in these types of construction. For example: While I was sleeping the fire alarm went off. The past simple, went, is an interruption in the past continuous, was sleeping. When I arrived at work this morning the boss was shouting.

When to use the past continuous. OK. We use the past continuous for an action or a s… an occurrence that was happening, that was in progress, before at and probably after, a certain moment in time in the past. We very often contrast it with a past simple. So for example: At 4 o’clock this morning I was sleeping. OK this is an action that was occurring, at 4 o’clock this morning. Before 4 o’clock I was sleeping, at 4 o’clock I was sleeping and after 4 o’clock I was sleeping. OK? So past continuous, an action occurring in a past, finished period of time. At a moment or during a period in the past. So, during a period: In the 1970s I was living in Oxford. OK this is in a period of time. So let’s look at the contrast between past simple and past continuous. This morning I was having a shower “La… la… la” when the phone rang. At the point in the past when the phone rang, I was having a shower, before that I was having a shower and at that moment I was having a shower. In this case I stop having the shower to answer the phone, but in other cases it is possible for it to continue. So, simple, past continuous: an action occurring during a period of finished time, in the past, or at a specific moment in the past, normally occurring before ,at and probably after that moment in time. So I’ll see you in the next video about the present perfect.

Click here for more lessons from the iswearenglish 100 series

Click here for more lessons from iswearenglish

Listen to ESL Podcasts and AudioBooks with Transcript
Listen to ESL Podcasts with Notes
Learn English from Teachers
Practise Your English Online

Choose Meaningful Beginner, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate or Advanced Series

Source: iswearenglish

More Series for You:

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>