What is the past continuously

Hello my dear readers.

You know there are rules that you will remember once and for all. And even if you wake up in the middle of the night, you can tell and explain everything without hesitation. These are exactly the rules that apply to me. (You can analyze these times separately by clicking on the corresponding links.) Today we are waiting right away the rules, Exercises with answers and explanations to all of your confused knowledge.

Wherein differences between two times

Very often one and the other tense are used in a sentence, so it is not so easy to find differences. But if you have this table in your hands right now, it will be a lot easier for you instantly.

If you look at this table and examples, it becomes immediately clear how they are used.

But I can give you a hint to compare: use of past continuously - It's like looking at a photo and describing what exactly happened in it at that moment. For example

... Motherwasknit, fatherwaswatchTv...

If that's how you describe it Not It may be time Past simply.


In the following exercises, let's work out the distinction between the two times.

Exercise 1.

Expand the brackets in the correct shape.

The boys (to play) in the field while the girls (to talk). All (to enjoy the evening). Then suddenly they hear a sound of the storm. It means your picnic is over.

We (to) see the movie when the doorbell (to ring). We (not to be expected) anyone. These are our neighbors who congratulate my mom on winning the best cook in town award.

They (work) in the garden when it (starts) to rain. You (to decide) wait for it to end. But it seems to take forever.

Exercise 2.

Imagine you are in the following situations. Answer the questions as in the example.

-What were you doing when the accident happened?

-We cleaned our car.

-What did you do?

-We called the police.

  1. The storm started.
  2. The fire started.
  3. The store was robbed.

To further test your knowledge, you can also leave , Where can you check the assessment of your knowledge on the subject?

And finally, I'll give you one more exercise.

Exercise 3.

In the dialog box, expand the brackets to the correct shape.

-What (you \ do) at the time of the accident?

-I (to get out of the bank).

-What (you \ see)?

-The woman (to cross the street) when a car suddenly met her (to hit her). It is terrible!

-What is the driver's speed?

-Not very high. But the woman (not to be) very attentive when crossing the street.

- (someone else \ to see the accident)?

-Yes, there is a man in the corner. He (to speak) on the phone when it (happens).

- Many thanks for your help.

You know, now I'm pretty sure that if you wake up in the middle of the night and do an exercise, you can easily cope with this. The main thing is to constantly practice and remember the basic rules. By the way, I have one more for you - to control my knowledge in these two times. Take action!

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And if you still have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments!

In the meantime - bye!


Exercise 1.

  1. Played, talked, enjoyed, heard, said, were.
  2. We watched, rang the bell, didn't expect, and came.
  3. Work was done, started, decided, seemed, was.

Exercise 2.

Student's own answers.

Exercise 3.

  1. Were you doing.
  2. Went.
  3. Did you see.
  4. Crossed, met, was.
  5. It wasn't.
  6. Saw someone else.
  7. Talked, happened.

Even the most difficult times can be studied on 2-3 levels. The main thing is to properly address the problem. Time comparison is one of the long-established methods of getting a bird's eye view of grammar.

Past Perfect vs Past Perfect throughout - possible impossible!

Perfectly over
Past perfectly continuous

Had + V3 / V-ed

had been v-ing

s / use

P.ast P.erfect (Simple) / Past Completed or Perfectas it is often called, is used to highlight the presence of certain results at the time in the past:

An action that was taken before or at a time in the past, before another action:
you was (already / just) done the report when her boss arrived / at 3am.
She was (already / just) finishing the report when her boss / arrived at 3am.

An action that ended in the past so that the result of that action was visible in the past:
I got the bonus. I had sold 1000 units.
I got a bonus. (because) I sold 1000 units.

Past Perfect \ u003d Past Simple in sentences with before and after:
She left after he / became had becomethe Head of Department.
She left after he became a department head.

In essence, Past Perfect is the equivalent. Perfectly present for a description of the past (read the article)

T.in theeexpress / related expressions

Used /
Past perfect Continuous / Past Perfect Continuous- used to highlight the duration of a specific action at a time in the past:

To emphasize the duration of an action that occurred in the past before another action in the past or at a point in time in the past:
you had developed the product for 2 months before putting it on the market.
They developed the product 2 months before it was launched.

An action that took some time in the past so that the result of this action was visible in the past:
We were so disappointed. We had waited for this event for 3 \ u200b \ u200byears.
We were so disappointed. We waited 3 years for this event.

In fact, Past Perfect Continuous is the equivalent of Present Perfect Continuous to describe the past (read the article)

Time expressions / related expressions

Differences / differences

Consider the difference between the mentioned use cases of times:

Present Perfect (simple)Present Perfect Continuous
Emphasis on outcome Focus on the duration of the action
I had translated 3 letters when he arrived.
I was translating 3 letters when it arrived.

The speaker focuses on his result,
not to mention the time spent.

I had been translating for 2 hours when he arrived.
I had been translating for 2 hours when he arrived.

The speaker focuses on the time spent
and does not mention the amount of work done.

He was happy. He had spoken to Marry.
He was happy. He was talking to Merry.

It happened! How much he said is not important.

He was happy. He had spoken to Marry for 2 hours.
He was happy. He spoke to Merry for 2 hours.

You gave him 2 hours!

Business talk
. Past Perfect is used with the phrase It was the first time - This was the first time:
We've talked a lot. It was my first time had met Jerry
We've talked a lot. This was the first time I met Jerry.

Verbs hope I hope to intend/ to be measured, want I would like to plan/ Plan used in Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous to emphasize that someone wanted to do something but didn't.
In such cases I had differentiated by intonation:
I had hoped to meet him on Sunday. - I was hoping to meet him on Sunday (but didn't meet).
We had planned to call him, but the line was busy all the time.
We wanted to call him, but the line was busy all the time.

  • Comparison of past simple and past times Continuously tense
  • Time differences, rules of use
  • Sample offers with Past Simple and Past Continuous Tense

Remember that time Past simply is used to express single or regularly repeated actions in the past (for example: came, saw, said),

and time Past continuously to describe the action that took place in the past at a certain point in time (for example: walked, watched, spoke).

I came home at 8 o'clock.

I got home at 8 a.m.

I came home at 8 o'clock.

I went home at 8 o'clock.

Sometimes there can be two past actions in a sentence and we don't know when to use past simple or past continuous. There are three cases that need to be remembered for proper use of dates from times. Let's take a look at them:

  1. If Actions are individual and occur one after the otherthen use it Past simply.

    I woke up and answered the telephone.

    I woke up and answered the phone.

    If you arrived Home, her would have Dinner.

    When they got home they had dinner.

  2. If two actions in the past occurred at the same time, that is, "parallel" to each other, then we use Past continuously.

    We had Breakfast with our neighbors

    cut the grass in the garden.

    We had breakfast when our neighbors were cutting grass in the garden.

    My brother played a computer game during

    I did my homework.

    My brother played a computer game while I was doing my homework.

  3. If any of the actions is long and interrupted by a quick short action, the long action is expressed in Past continuouslyand quick action in Past simply.

    you played Soccer on the playground

    if it started to rain.

    They were playing football on the pitch when it started raining.

    Please note that after the word " while'Is only used in the past and after' whenCan be used both times.

Theme: The repetition of times with expansion and in comparison. Past times

Lesson: Simple Past, Past Long, and Past Perfect Time

pastEasy, pastContinuouslyand pastPerfect - These are times that describe past actions. Despite this commonality, the actions they express are different. Let's go into each of the times.

pastEasy is a simple past tense. Also called him pastIndefinite - indefinitely over.

Words that point to pastEasy

Yesterday - yesterday

Before - before

Last - last

The other day - the other day

1998 - 1998

When? - when?

Where? - Where?

An example:

Yesterday I went to see my grandma.

Three years in front I played tennis very well.

Last Year I traveled to London with my classmates.

We bought a new car theotherDay.

In1998 Tom went to Novgorod for the first time.

When Did you finish school

Where Did you spend your summer vacation

To build affirmative sentences inpastEasycorrect verbs have to be added End -ed. For example play - play ed. If the verb is wrong, we use its second form. For example to speak - spoke. It should be noted that the form of the verb is the same for all pronouns.


I play ed Tennis yesterday. youspoke English very good last year.

you play ed Volleyball yesterday. Hespoke French very well last week.

We play ed Soccer yesterday. youspoke French very well last month.

For education questions We need an auxiliary verb did (also the same for all pronouns) that appears before the topic. In this case, the semantic verb is used in the first form.

An example:

Did you play tennis yesterday? Hasyou speak english last year?

Has she Play volleyball? Hashe speak french last week?

Hasyou Play soccer? Hasyou speak french last month?

Negative offers We also build with the auxiliary verb didand negative particle Not. The semantic verb must be used in the first form.

An example:

I didNot play tennis yesterday.

We Not

You can also use short form:

I Not play tennis yesterday.

We Not speak English very well last year.

pastContinuously the past is long time. In contrast to past simple, which expresses a one-off action in the past, past continuous is characterized by duration.

Words that point to pastContinuously, Words like:

At ... o'clock - at ... hours

When when

During - during

An example:

Yesterday At 7 o'clock I played soccer in the yard.

We sang when The teacher came.

While I went home, my mother cooked dinner.

Form sentences inpastContinuously

To build positive offer inpastContinuously we need the conjugation verb tobe, or rather, its past forms was (for the pronouns I, he, she, it) and were(for the pronouns you, we, them). We add to the semantic verb ~ ing end.

An example:

Iwas leap ing yesterday at 7 o'clock.

Hewas swim ing at 5 a.m.

youwere play ing Hockey yesterday at 7am.

youwere to do ing her homework all day yesterday.

ask the questionIt is necessary to put the verb in the necessary form (was, were) in front of the subject.


He was leap ing yesterday at 7 o'clock?

Were you to do ing Homework yesterday at 5?

To build negative offerwe add to the verb tobe the negative particle in the necessary form Not. We also add the semantic verb ~ ing end.

An example:

I wasNot

He was not do homework at 3 a.m. yesterday.

We were not

You can also use short formswhich, by the way, is preferable in spoken English.

I was not jump at 5 a.m. yesterday.

We were not Learn English all day yesterday.

pastPerfect - is the past tense that describes an action that ended at a certain point in time in the past or that took place earlier than another action in the past.

Words and phrases that point to pastPerfectin the proposal are the following:

At ... o'clock - until ... hours

Until summer - until summer

At that time - at that time

After - after

Before - before

An example:

They had cleaned their room of 7 o'clock.

I had learned to swim ofthesummer.

Nick had left ofthetime The letter came.

later She passed the exam and felt better.

Before Mother came home, he had already made dinner.

Very often pastPerfect used in indirect language according to the times agreed.


Said Nina, she had bought Candy the day before yesterday.

Form sentences inpastPerfect

pastPerfect is a compound time. Like all perfect tenses, it contains a verb conjunction toto haveand a semantic verb in the third form. The conjugation verb is used in the past tense ( would have) and it is the same for all pronouns.


I would havefinished

you would havefinished Homework when mom cooked dinner.

you would havefinished Homework when the mother came.

For education questions it is necessary to take out the conjugation verb would have in the first place in the offer.


Would have you finished Homework when mom came?

Would have you finished Dinner when the plane arrived?

To build negativeproposals You need to add a negative particle to the conjugated verb Not. We can also use the short form. had not.


you would haveNot

you had not When the mother came, lunch was over.

To better understand and master the features of using the times described in this lesson, here are some things you need to do exercise.

Read each sentence carefully and open the brackets by typing the verb pastEasy, pastContinuously or pastPerfect.

1) When I get home, my little sister (to sleep).

2) When Nick comes home, his brother is playing with his toys.

3) When he comes home, his mother is already cooking dinner.

4) I went to the cinema yesterday.

5) I'm going to the movies when I met you.

6) When mom comes home, I'll do my homework.

7) When we get to my friend's house, he just goes.

8) When the father comes home, Peter (to sleep).

9) I'm doing my homework all night yesterday.

10) By the time her husband walks into her office, she is already finishing work for that day.

Answers to the exercise:

1) When I got home my little sister was sleeping.

2) When Nick got home, his brother was playing with his toys.

3) When he got home, his mother had already cooked dinner.

4) I went to the cinema yesterday.

5) I was in the cinema when I met you.

6) When mom came home, I did my homework.

7) When we got to my friend's house, he had just left.

8) When the father came home, Peter was sleeping.

9) I did my homework all night yesterday.

10) By the time her husband walked into her office, she had already finished her work for the day.

1. Afanasyeva OV, Mikheeva IV English language. Class 9th M .: Bustard - 2008.

2. Baranova K.M., Duli D., Kopylova V.V. English language. M .: Education - 2011.

3. Biboletova M.Z., Trubaneva N.N. English language. Class 9th M .: Title - 2008.

1st exercise 214 Golitsynsky Yu. Grammar: Sat. Exercises. - 5th edition, - St. Petersburg: KARO, 2005 - p. 176.

2nd Exercise 235 Golitsynsky Yu. Grammar: Sat. Exercises. - 5th edition, - St. Petersburg: KARO, 2005. - p. 195.

Translating into English Using verbs in past simple, past continuous or past perfect:

a) Yesterday at 6 p.m. I read an interesting book about knights.

b) Did your grandmother knit socks when you got home?

c) We went to the sea with the whole family two years ago.

d) What did you do last Saturday?

e) My mother cleaned the apartment all last weekend.

f) Our class teacher held a parents' meeting on Monday.

g) When he got to the village, all his friends had already left.

h) Yesterday morning my brother planted trees and my sister watered flowers.

English is specific to the use of tenses. In order to describe the events of the past, it is necessary not only to use the verbs of the past tense as in Russian, but also to choose the correct form for expressing thoughts. So we can emphasize past simple, past perfectly simple, past continuous.

So in contrast to our mother tongue, English has slightly different use cases of the time. If in Russian we can display markings for the duration of what is happening using the methods we understand (native speakers): endings in verbs, changing the form of a verb from imperfect to perfect, as well as adverbs to add the duration and result of the action to the main form of the verb to express in English In addition to the languages ​​mentioned above, a language is also added auxiliary verbs. Irregular English verbs, in turn, change their form depending on the type of time.

Features of the use of past tense in English

It seems that for a native English speaker it is not so important whether an action has been taken in the present, past or future, but the length, regularity and result of that action itself. Based on this interesting fact, we have three different variants: simple (easy), continuous (long) and perfect (perfect).

In English, the past tense is again divided into past perfect, past continuous and past simple. The rules of use for each of them have their own characteristics, details of which can be found in this article.

Eating and education past easy

To express an action that has taken place in the past, the simple past tense or past simple is used. The rules of formation for this period are very simple. To regular verb The ending -ed is added and the irregular verb changes its form in a special way.

Simple past tag words

Use Past Simple to talk about an action that happened in the past at a point in time that has already expired. The English rules also provide marker words to define this past tense: last month (last month), last Sunday (last Sunday), six days ago (six days ago), yesterday (yesterday), the day before yesterday (the day before yesterday), recently (recently ), 1992 (1992).

Past simple / present table Simple rules for the formation of the past tense become clear.

Eating and education past continuously

The past long time differs fundamentally from the simple past (past simple). The rules for using this form of the past tense state that it not only characterizes the act of the past, but also indicates the extent of the act and a specific period of time for which it was performed.

The continuous past form is created by adding -ing endings to the infinitive of the verb.

The following table shows the difference between the simple past and the long. So we see how the process goes Education Past Ongoing in English.

Past simple / past continuous table: The rules for forming the past long time are clear

Long term marker words

For continuous tenses in English, there are also a number of words that you can use to determine exactly what time is ahead of us. The use of these words and connectives indicates a period of time. Words and phrases as in the moment (in the moment), all day (all day), now (now), still (still).

Eating past perfectly simple

The rules for using this past tense apply to actions that ended in the past, and there is some kind of result. Perfect past is used to describe previous actions. For example, when a person describes some important events that have occurred in their life, they are not always observing the chronology of those events. The story begins with a plot, then continues with a description of the previous one, and at the end the narrator returns to describing later events. The Russian language provides only one time for such a description, and English has more precise tools.

Marking words for completed times

An action expressed by perfectly tenseIt took a certain amount of time, but only the result of the action taken matters to the speaker. To demonstrate this, words and prepositions are used: from (to ...), before (to ...), since (from each moment) for (during).

How does past simple differ from present perfect?

The most popular mistake made by foreigners learning English is misunderstanding the differences between the simple past tense (past simple) and complete gift.

The problem with understanding the "non-native speakers" of the language is that the usage of these tenses is almost the same - a completed action in the past. However, the real purpose of the narrative is different. In the first case, this is an indication of the action in the past indefinitely, and in the second - an indication not of the time, but of the result of an action at a certain point in time. This difference can be seen when translating sentences in the table above.