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    Past Continuous and Simple Past

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    joory
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    Past Continuous and Simple Past

    Post by joory on Sat May 01, 2010 6:19 am

    Simple Past
    Examples:
    • You called Debbie.
    • Did you call Debbie?
    • You did not call Debbie.
    Complete List of Simple Past Forms
    USE 1 Completed Action in the Past

    Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. Sometimes, the speaker may not actually mention the specific time, but they do have one specific time in mind.
    Examples:
    • I saw a movie yesterday.
    • I didn't see a play yesterday.
    • Last year, I traveled to Japan.
    • Last year, I didn't travel to Korea.
    • Did you have dinner last night?
    • She washed her car.
    • He didn't wash his car.
    USE 2 A Series of Completed Actions

    We use the Simple Past to list a series of completed actions in the past. These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.
    Examples:
    • I finished work, walked to the beach, and found a nice place to swim.
    • He arrived from the airport at 8:00, checked into the hotel at 9:00, and met the others at 10:00.
    • Did you add flour, pour in the milk, and then add the eggs?
    ================================================== ================================================== ==================
    Past Continuous

    USE 1 Interrupted Action in the Past

    Use the Past Continuous to indicate that a longer action in the past was interrupted. The interruption is usually a shorter action in the Simple Past. Remember this can be a real interruption or just an interruption in time.
    Examples:

    • 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 car.
    • Sammy was waiting for us when we got off the plane.
    • While I was writing the email, the computer suddenly went off.
    • A: What were you doing when you broke your leg?
    B: I was snowboarding.
    USE 2 Specific Time as an Interruption

    In USE 1, described above, the Past Continuous is interrupted by a shorter action in the Simple Past. However, you can also use a specific time as an interruption.
    Examples:
    • Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.
    • At midnight, we were still driving through the desert.
    • Yesterday at this time, I was sitting at my desk at work.
    IMPORTANT
    In the Simple Past, a specific time is used to show when an action began or finished. In the Past Continuous, a specific time only interrupts the action.
    Examples:
    • Last night at 6 PM, I ate dinner.
    I STARTED EATING AT 6 PM.
    • Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.
    I STARTED EARLIER; AND AT 6 PM, I WAS IN THE PROCESS OF EATING DINNER.
    USE 3 Parallel Actions

    When you use the Past Continuous with two actions in the same sentence, it expresses the idea that both actions were happening at the same time. The actions are parallel.
    Examples:
    • I was studying while he was making dinner.
    • While Ellen was reading, Tim was watching television.
    • Were you listening while he was talking?
    • I wasn't paying attention while I was writing the letter, so I made several mistakes.
    • What were you doing while you were waiting?
    • Thomas wasn't working, and I wasn't working either.
    • They were eating dinner, discussing their plans, and having a good time.
    USE 4 Atmosphere
    In English, we often use a series of parallel actions to describe the atmosphere at a particular time in the past.
    Example:
    • When I walked into the office, several people were busily typing, some were talking on the phones, the boss was yelling directions, and customers were waiting to be helped. One customer was yelling at a secretary and waving his hands. Others were complaining to each other about the bad service.
    USE 5 Repetition and Irritation with "Always"

    The Past Continuous with words such as "always" or "constantly" expresses the idea that something irritating or shocking often happened in the past. The concept is very similar to the expression "used to" but with negative emotion. Remember to put the words "always" or "constantly" between "be" and "verb+ing."
    Examples:
    • She was always coming to class late.
    • He was constantly talking. He annoyed everyone.
    • I didn't like them because they were always complaining.
    While vs. When
    Clauses are groups of words which have meaning, but are often not complete sentences. Some clauses begin with the word "when" such as "when she called" or "when it bit me." Other clauses begin with "while" such as "while she was sleeping" and "while he was surfing." When you talk about things in the past, "when" is most often followed by the verb tense Simple Past, whereas "while" is usually followed by Past Continuous. "While" expresses the idea of "during that time." Study the examples below. They have similar meanings, but they emphasize different parts of the sentence.
    Examples:
    • I was studying when she called.
    • While I was studying, she called.
    [was/were + present participle]
    Examples:
    • You were studying when she called.
    • Were you studying when she called?
    • You were not studying when she called.
    ================================================== ===================================
    Simple Present
    FORM
    [VERB] + s/es in third person
    Examples:
    • You speak English.
    • Do you speak English?
    • You do not speak English.
    Complete List of Simple Present Forms
    USE 1 Repeated Actions

    Use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is repeated or usual. The action can be a habit, a hobby, a daily event, a scheduled event or something that often happens. It can also be something a person often forgets or usually does not do.
    Examples:
    • I play tennis.
    • She does not play tennis.
    • Does he play tennis?
    • The train leaves every morning at 8 AM.
    • The train does not leave at 9 AM.
    • When does the train usually leave?
    • She always forgets her purse.
    • He never forgets his wallet.
    • Every twelve months, the Earth circles the Sun.
    • Does the Sun circle the Earth?
    USE 2 Facts or Generalizations

    The Simple Present can also indicate the speaker believes that a fact was true before, is true now, and will be true in the future. It is not important if the speaker is correct about the fact. It is also used to make generalizations about people or things.
    Examples:
    • Cats like milk.
    • Birds do not like milk.
    • Do pigs like milk?
    • California is in America.
    • California is not in the United Kingdom.
    • Windows are made of glass.
    • Windows are not made of wood.
    • New York is a small city. IT IS NOT IMPORTANT THAT THIS FACT IS UNTRUE.
    USE 3 Scheduled Events in the Near Future

    Speakers occasionally use Simple Present to talk about scheduled events in the near future. This is most commonly done when talking about public transportation, but it can be used with other scheduled events as well.
    Examples:
    • The train leaves tonight at 6 PM.
    • The bus does not arrive at 11 AM, it arrives at 11 PM.
    • When do we board the plane?
    • The party starts at 8 o'clock.
    • When does class begin tomorrow?
    USE 4 Now (Non-Continuous Verbs)

    Speakers sometimes use the Simple Present to express the idea that an action is happening or is not happening now. This can only be done with Non-Continuous Verbs and certain Mixed Verbs.
    Examples:
    • I am here now.
    • She is not here now.
    • He needs help right now.
    • He does not need help now.
    • He has his passport in his hand.
    • Do you have your passport with you?
    ADVERB PLACEMENT
    The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.
    Examples:
    • You only speak English.
    • Do you only speak English?
    ACTIVE / PASSIVE
    Examples:
    • Once a week, Tom cleans the car. ACTIVE
    • Once a week, the car is cleaned by Tom. PASSIVE
    Present Continuous
    FORM
    [am/is/are + present participle]
    Examples:
    • You are watching TV.
    • Are you watching TV?
    • You are not watching TV.
    Complete List of Present Continuous Forms
    USE 1 Now

    Use the Present Continuous with Normal Verbs to express the idea that something is happening now, at this very moment. It can also be used to show that something is not happening now.
    Examples:
    • You are learning English now.
    • You are not swimming now.
    • Are you sleeping?
    • I am sitting.
    • I am not standing.
    • Is he sitting or standing?
    • They are reading their books.
    • They are not watching television.
    • What are you doing?
    • Why aren't you doing your homework?
    USE 2 Longer Actions in Progress Now

    In English, "now" can mean: this second, today, this month, this year, this century, and so on. Sometimes, we use the Present Continuous to say that we are in the process of doing a longer action which is in progress; however, we might not be doing it at this exact second.
    Examples: (All of these sentences can be said while eating dinner in a restaurant.)
    • I am studying to become a doctor.
    • I am not studying to become a dentist.
    • I am reading the book Tom Sawyer.
    • I am not reading any books right now.
    • Are you working on any special projects at work?
    • Aren't you teaching at the university now?
    USE 3 Near Future

    Sometimes, speakers use the Present Continuous to indicate that something will or will not happen in the near future.
    Examples:
    • I am meeting some friends after work.
    • I am not going to the party tonight.
    • Is he visiting his parents next weekend?
    • Isn't he coming with us tonight?
    USE 4 Repetition and Irritation with "Always"

    The Present Continuous with words such as "always" or "constantly" expresses the idea that something irritating or shocking often happens. Notice that the meaning is like Simple Present, but with negative emotion. Remember to put the words "always" or "constantly" between "be" and "verb+ing."
    Examples:
    • She is always coming to class late.
    • He is constantly talking. I wish he would shut up.
    • I don't like them because they are always complaining.
    REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs/ Mixed Verbs
    It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Present Continuous with these verbs, you must use Simple Present.
    Examples:
    • She is loving this chocolate ice cream. Not Correct
    • She loves this chocolate ice cream. Correct
    ADVERB PLACEMENT
    The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.
    Examples:
    • You are still watching TV.
    • Are you still watching TV?
    ACTIVE / PASSIVE
    Examples:
    • Right now, Tom is writing the letter. ACTIVE
    • Right now, the letter is being written by Tom. PASSIVE
    More About Active / Passive Forms
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    Talib Al_Munawri
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    Re: Past Continuous and Simple Past

    Post by Talib Al_Munawri on Sat May 01, 2010 6:37 am

    I can hardly express my gratitude....thanks sis
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    joory
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    Re: Past Continuous and Simple Past

    Post by joory on Sat May 01, 2010 6:01 pm

    welcome bro

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    Re: Past Continuous and Simple Past

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