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Употребление Past Continuous

Past Continuous употребляется:

1. Для выражения длительного действия, которое происходило в определенный момент времени в прошлом. Этот момент может быть обозначен:

а) обстоятельством времени:

At three o’clock yesterday afternoon I was watching a chat show.

- What were you doing at 8 o’clock last night?

- I was having dinner at a restaurant.

b) другим действием в Past Simple:

We were walking in the park when it started raining.

The phone rang when I was leaving.


2. Для выражения длительного действия, которое совершалось в определенный период времени в прошлом, но не носило непрерывный характер.

He was working on his thesis in summer.

At that time I was reading for my exam in English.


Past Continuous, наряду с Past Simple, может употребляться с такими выражениями как all day long, all day yesterday, the whole evening/morning, all that year, etc. При употреблении Past Continuous подчеркивается процесс совершения действия, а при употреблении Past Simple – факт его совершения.

I lived in the country in 1972.

I was living in the country in 1972.


It was raining hard all day.

It rained hard all day.


He was working in the garden all weekend.

He worked in the garden all weekend.


Past Continuous, как правило, не употребляется для передачи длительных действий, если в предложении имеется обстоятельство времени, указывающее на их продолжительность.

We waited for a long time.

I looked at him thoughtfully for a moment.

For two years he studied history at Bristol University and then dropped out.


3. Past Continuous используется для описания обстановки или для передачи атмосферы, на фоне которых происходили описываемые действия.

The airport was full of people. Some were sleeping, some were shopping, others were reading. Everyone was waiting for the news of the delayed plane.


Harvey looked up from his page and stared out of the window. All around him, the others were working hard. Ian was writing steadily, Mindy was frowning over a difficult problem, and Ingrid was running her hands through her hair and chewing the end of the pencil.


4. С наречиями alwaysиconstantly Past Continuous, как и Present Continuous, используется для передачи негативной оценки говорящего происходящих событий.

When Sue was at school, she was always loosing things.

My mum was always nagging me about mess in my room.


Exercise 5.Put verbs in brackets into either the Past Simple or the Past Continuous.

1. At a quarter to five I (sit) still my exam.

2. I (take) my coat, because it (rain).

3. I first (meet) Harry when we (work) at the bank.

4. While I (look) through my papers I (find) a lot of unpaid bills.

5. When we (be) at school she always (show off).

6. We (wait) for that bus for twenty minutes and when it came it was overcrowded.

7. He (turn) the car and (start) back towards London.

8. She (fall asleep) while she (do) her English exercises.

9. When I last (see) her she (wear) her hair long.

10. For the next five minutes we (sit) in silence.

11. When I (return) they (sit) still at the table.

12. When we (approach) the town one of the front tires (burst).

13. For some fifteen minutes he (write) in silence without raising his eyes from what he (write).

14. I (can) not see his face, he (sit) so that it was in shadow.

15. When she (work) as an estate agent people always (ring) her late in the evening.

16. I (wait) an hour, then (pay) for my drink and (leave).

17. She (look) at him for a long time and then (shrug).

18. When I last (hear) from him, he (live) in the Hague.

19. I (wonder) why he (laugh). I (can) see nothing funny in what (go on).

20. Do you remember what you (do) ten years ago today?

21. After I (find) the wallet full of money, I immediately (go) to the police and (hand) it in.
22. Sebastian (arrive) at Susan's house a little before 9:00 PM, but she (not be) there. She (study) at the library for her final examination in French.
23. Sandy is in the living room watching television. At this time yesterday, she (watch, also) television. That's all she ever does!
24. When I (walk) into the busy office, the secretary (talk) on the phone, several clerks (work, busily) at their desks, and two managers (discuss, quietly) methods to improve customer service.
25. I (watch) a mystery movie on TV when the electricity went out. Now I am never going to find out how the movie ends.
26. It's strange that you (call) because I (think, just) about you.
27. When I entered the bazaar, a couple of merchants (bargain, busily) and (try) to sell their goods to naive tourists who (hunt) for souvenirs. Some young boys (lead) their donkeys through the narrow streets on their way home. A couple of men (argue) over the price of a leather belt. I (walk) over to a man who (sell) fruit and (buy) a banana.
28. Samantha (live) in Berlin for more than two years. In fact, she (live) there when the Berlin Wall came down.

Exercise 6. Translate into English.

1. Я сломал ключ, когда пытался открыть дверь (to unlock).

2. Куда вы шли, когда вас остановил полицейский?

3. В течение нескольких минут мы шли молча, а дорога с каждым шагом становилась все хуже и хуже.

4. Весь день вчера я пытался связаться с тобой. Где ты был?

5. Я 20 минут вчера ждал этот автобус.

6. Я ждал автобус и вдруг увидел ее. Она переходила улицу.

7. Вчера после занятий мы три часа репетировали.

8. Когда мы репетировали, вдруг погас свет.

9. Когда он был моложе, он постоянно попадал в неприятности (to get into trouble).

10. Вчера мы два часа писали контрольную работу.

11. Почему я тебя не видел во время перерыва? – Мы писали контрольную работу.

12. Вчера у нас не было первой лекции. Мы просидели это время в кафе.

13. Окно было открыто, и в комнате было шумно, так как во дворе играли дети.

14. Я заглянул в кафе. Они пили кофе и разговаривали.

15. Почему ты к ней все время придирался (to find fault with).

Exercise 7. Complete the text below with the Past Simple or the Past Continuous of the verbs in brackets.


Last night, while I was doing my homework, Angela (call) ......... .She said she (call) .......... me on her cell phone from her biology classroom at UCLA. I asked her if she (wait) ........... for class, but she said that the professor was at the front of the hall lecturing while she (talk) ..........to me. I couldn't believe she (make) ........... a phone call during the lecture. I asked what was going on.

She said her biology professor was so boring that several of the students (sleep, actually) .......... in class. Some of the students (talk) ..........about their plans for the weekend and the student next to her (draw) .......... a picture of a horse. When Angela (tell) .......... me she was not satisfied with the class, I (mention) .......... that my biology professor was quite good and (suggest) that she switch to my class.

While we were talking, I (hear) .......... her professor shout, "Miss, are you making a phone call?" Suddenly, the line went dead. I (hang) ..........up the phone and went to the kitchen to make dinner. As I (cut) .......... vegetables for a salad, the phone rang once again. It (be) .......... Angela, but this time she wasn't sitting in class.



Unit 3. Present Perfect and Past Perfect


Present Perfect


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