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Arbeitsblatt: The past progressive tense


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Grammar: The p_________ p_________________tense

1. Examples: Read the sentences:

1)    Ellie was dreaming about South America when suddenly Carl came in.

2)    What was Carl doing when the balloon came in?

3)    At 9 pm, Ellie was reading her scrapbook.


2. Analysis: In each clause, circle the subject in blue, the verb in red, the auxiliary in orange, and the time phrase in yellow.

Name the tense that is used in the main clauses and write the name of the tense into the gap in the headline.


3. Rules:

3.1) How do we form the _____________________________ tense? 

Fill in the gaps and complete the rule:

s________ + w____ / w________ + ___________ (p_________ p__________)

3.2) When do we use the _____________________________ tense? 

Fill in the gaps and complete the rule:

We use the p________ p__________ tense to say that something (usually an action) __________________________________________________________________.

German: ________________________________________________

Signal words: all signal words for the s_____ p_____ + a point of time in the p______ (often another verb in the simple past); they are often linked with "while" or "when".

3.3) Contrast to the simple past tense:



When the balloon came in, Carl screamed.

When the balloon came in, Carl was reading a book.





We use the p________ p_____________ tense with verbs for a_________ (to wait, to work, to read ...) but not with verbs for s__________ (to like, to hate, to love, to want, to understand, to agree, to know, to remember).


4. Exercises:

a) What were young Ellie and the hamster doing, when Carl came in? Write sentences.

1) Young Ellie – steer the wheel.

2) The hamster – watch Ellie.

b) Simple past or past progressive? Fill in the gaps.

1)     Ellie ______________________ (tidy up) the room when the telephone suddenly _____________ (ring).

2)     Carl ____________ (open) the door while Ellie _______________ (watch) TV.

c) Translate the sentences into English:

1) Carl las gerade die Zeitung, als Ellie plötzlich durchs Fenster schaute.

2) Gestern um zwei Uhr hörte ich Musik.


5. Explain your answers to your neighbour.



The past progressive tense (AB für SuS): Herunterladen [doc][33 KB]


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