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Lösungen zum Arbeitsblatt: The past progressive tense


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Grammar: The past progessive tense

1. Examples: Read the sentences:

1)    Elliewasdreaming about South America when suddenly Carlcame in.

2)    What wasCarldoingwhen the ballooncame in?

3)    At 9 pm, Elliewasreading 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 past progressive tense? 

Fill in the gaps and complete the rule:

Subject + was / were + ing-form (present participle)

3.2) When do we use the past progressive tense? 

Fill in the gaps and complete the rule:

We use the past progressive tense to say that something (usually an action) was going on at a certain point of time in the past.

German: ... war gerade dabei, etwas zu tun ...

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

3.3) Contrast to the simple past tense:



When the ballooncame in, Carlscreamed.

When the balloon came in, Carl wasreading a book.

German: Als der Ballon herein (geflogen) kam, schrie Carl.

German: Als der Ballon herein (geflogen) kam, las Carl (gerade) ein Buch.

We use the past progressive tense with verbs for actions (to wait, to work, to read ...) but not with verbs for states (to like, to hate, to love, to want, to understand, to agree, to know, to remember) .


4. Exercises:

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

1) Ellie – steer the wheel.

2) The hamster – watch Ellie.

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

1) Ellie was tidying up the room when the telephone rang.

2) Carl opened the door while Ellie was watching TV.

c) Translate the sentences into English:

1) Carl was reading the newspaper when Ellie suddenly looked through the window.

2) Yesterday at two o´clock I was listening to music.


5. Explain your answers to your neighbour.



The past progressive tense (AB ausgefüllt für Lehrer): Herunterladen [doc][32 KB]


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