1 Past Progressive and Simple Past Someone Stole His Briefcase! Focus on Grammar 3 Part I, Unit 4 By Ruth Luman, Gabriele Steiner, and BJ Wells Copyright © 2006. Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Reporting to the Police 1 It was about ten in the morning, and I was sitting in Maxi’s Café near City Park. What Whatwere did you you doing? see? Reporting to the Police 2 Tomy myright, left,there there was aa young man. He was To therewas wasanother youngyoung woman. She Suddenly, man. He drinking coffee and reading acream. newspaper. A big was eating ared huge dish of ice Shewith was snatched the briefcase and ran away it so red briefcase was standing nexthappening. to his feet. enjoying it. was fast that no one knew what After the man stole the briefcase, we were all talking loudly. The owner of the briefcase was very upset! Past Progressive Use the past progressive to describe an action that was in progress at a specific time in the past. I was having coffee. She was eating ice cream. 10 a.m. now past was having was eating future Be Careful! Non-action verbs are not usually used in the progressive. Note the exception with have. I was I had having a headache. a headache. I was having coffee. She was having ice cream. Here the meaning of have is eat or drink. Past Progressive & Simple Past 1 Use past progressive with simple past to describe an action that was interrupted by another action. They were enjoying the morning when the thief stole the briefcase. stole past were enjoying now future Past Progressive & Simple Past 2 Use past progressive for the action in progress. Use when and the simple past for the action that interrupts. The man was reading the newspaper when the thief snatched his briefcase. snatched past now was reading future Past Progressive & Simple Past 3 Use past progressive to focus on the duration of an action. Use simple past to focus on the completion of an action. I was sitting in Maxi’s Café and watching people. the people there. The thief stole the briefcase and ran away. past now was sitting / was watching future Practice 1 What were you and others doing? Answer the questions using the past progressive. Example: What were you doing when I called this morning? I was trying to wake up when you called. 1. What were you doing when the phone rang last night? 2. What were your friends doing at 6 p.m. yesterday evening? 3. What were you doing last weekend? 4. What was the teacher doing when you first saw her/him today? Past Progressive with While 1 Use past progressive with while to describe two actions in progress at the same time in the past. The man was reading the newspaper while the woman was eating her ice cream. now past was reading was eating future Past Progressive with While 2 Use past progressive with while to describe two actions in progress at the same time in the past. While I was describing While the theft, theft, the the police police the officer was was writing writing officer everything down. down. everything now past was describing was writing future Time Clauses The time clause (= the part with while or when) can come at the beginning or the end of the sentence. They were having coffee when the thief snatched the briefcase. , When the thief snatched the briefcase they were having coffee. Be Careful! Sentences with both clauses in the simple past have a different meaning from sentences with one clause in the simple past and one in the past progressive. When the waiter came, I looked at the menu. When the waiter came, I was looking at the menu. came came past was looking looked now First the waiter came; then I looked at the First I was menu. looking at the menu; then the waiter came. future Practice 2 Form sentences with while. Use the past progressive. Example: read / steal While the man was reading, the prisoner was stealing his wallet. 1. talk / drink 4. not look / burn 3. play / watch 5. talk / sit 2. shine / splash 4. While the woman was not looking, the toast was 5. was talking onfountain the phone, the man was sitting 3. one manwas was playing pool, the other man was 1.While Whilethe thewoman women were talking, they were drinking tea. 2. sun shining, the was splashing. burning. in the chair. watching. References Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education and its licensors. All rights reserved.