Avançado 5. PAST CONTINUOUS


 (I was doing)
We use the past continuous to say that somebody was in the middle of doing something at a certain time. The action or situation had already started before this time but had not finished.
Examples:
-   This time last year I was living in Brazil.
-   What were you doing at 10 o'clock last night?
-   I waved to her but she wasn't looking.

Compare the past continuous (I was doing) and past simple (I did):
1) Past continuous (in the middle of an action):
- I was walking home when I met Dave (in the middle of walking home)
- An was watching television when the phone rang (in the middle of watching television)

2) Past simple (complete action)
- I walked home after the party last night (all the way, completely)
- Ann watched television a lot when she was ill last year.
We often use the past simple and the past continuous together to say that something happened in the middle of doing something else:
-   Tom burnt his hand when he was cooking dinner.
-   I saw you in the park yesterday. You were sitting on the grass and reading a book.
But we use the past simple to say that one thing happened after another:
-   I was waling along the road when I saw Dave. So I stopped and we had a chat.

Exercise:
Put the verbs into the correct form, past continuous or past simple:
1) Jane … (wait) for me when I … (arrive).
2) What … (you/do) this time yesterday? I was asleep.
3) … (you/go) out last night? No, I was too tired.
4) Was Carol at the party last night? Yes, she … (wear) a really nice dress.
5) How fast … (you/drive) when the accident … (happen)?
6) John … (take) a photograph of me while I … (not/look).
7) We were in a very difficult position. We … (not/know) what to do.
8) I haven't seen Alan for ages. When I last … (see) him, he … (try) to find a job in London.
9) I … (walk) along the street when suddenly I … (hear) footsteps behind me. Somebody … (follow) me. I was frightened and I … (start) to run.
10) When I was young, I … (want) to be a bus driver.


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