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The Past Progressive Tense

1. Формы образования:

  I He She It was (wasn’t) working at 6 yesterday.  
  We You They were (weren’t) working at 6 yesterday.
  Was I, he she, it   working at 6 yesterday?
  Were we, you, they   working at 6 yesterday?  
What were you   doing at 6 yesterday?


2. The Past Progressive Tense употребляется для выражения длительного действия, происходящего в прошлом в определённый момент или период, на что часто указывают такие обстоятельства, как:

at 6 yesterday – вчера в 6

from 5 to 6 – с 5 до 6

all the time – всё это время.


Exercise 1.

Make the following sentences:-negative;


1. It was snowing all day yesterday.

2. They were doing their homework when. I came to see them.

3. I was working on that text all Sunday.

4. My friends were waiting for me though I was late.

5. We were working at that time.

6. The lecture was getting rather dull.

7. I was having my English from 4 till 5.30 p.m. yesterday.

8. He was reading a newspaper during his dinner.

Exercise 2.

Look at the list of the things Nick did yesterday.

-8.30. had breakfast

–9.30. watched TV

9.30.-10.00. cleaned the flat.

12.30 –13.00. had lunch

13.00 –13.20. talked on the phone

13.20-13.30 finished his lunch

13.30-14.00 watched TV

14.00-15.00 did exercises

15.00-15.15 took a shower

15.15-16.40 slept

16.40-18.00 read books

18.00-19.30 watched video

19.30-20.30 walked his dog

A. What was Nick doing at these times?

Pattern: He was having breakfast at a quarter past eight.


B. What was he doing when the following things happened?

Pattern: Yesterday Nick was watching TV when his friends called him up.

At 9.00 his friends called him up.

At 12.35 the postman came.

At 13.00 his mother phoned him

At 13.25 his sister came home

At 15.10 someone phoned him

At 17.00 his friend brought Nick an interesting film

At 20.00 he met his former class-mate.


Exercise 3.

Say what you were doing yesterday when:

-your mother came home;

-your favourite TV programme (film) began;

-the supper was ready;

-your friend(s) came to see you or called you up.


Exercise 4.

Complete the following sentences.

1. At three o’clock yesterday the students of our group…

2. When the teacher came in, the students…

3. I met my friend, when I …

4. When the alarm-clock began to ring, I …

5. Someone phoned me, when I …

6. We were watching TV news, when …

7. Yesterday, when I was doing my homework, …


Exercise 5.

Ask questions to the following sentences beginning with the words in brackets.

1. Yesterday at 11.40 she was having breakfast at the canteen (What? When? Where?).

2. It was raining heavily yesterday in the morning (When?).

3. The teacher was explaining new material when one of the students interrupted him (Who?).

4. We were running quickly because we were afraid to miss our train (Why? What?).

5. She was waiting for a very important phone call yesterday at noon (What? When?).

6. The students were writing a composition when the Dean came to make an announcement (Who? When?).

7. I was reading an English text, when you called me up (What?).

Exercise 6.

Use the Past Progressive Tense instead of the infinitive in brackets.

1. What you (to do) yesterday at 15.00 p.m.? – I (to play) football in the yard.

2. It (to snow) when we went out.

3. While he (to learn) to drive he had many accidents.

4. Who you (to talk to) as I came in? – I (to talk) to my new secretary.

5. Whose book you (to read), when I entered the room?

6. Tears (to run) down the face of the Happy Prince.

7. They (to sit) at the open window of a small room looking out west onto the garden.

8. While we (to walk) someone came into the house and left this note.



Exercise 7.

Use the Past Progressive or the Past Simple Tense instead of the infinitives in brackets.

1. He often (to go) to the library when he (to study) at the University.

2. The sun (to rise) when I (to wake up) that morning.

3. We (to listen to) the raolio yesterday when the bell (to ring).

4. Someone (to sing) next door while I (to try) to get some sleep.

5. While my mother (to pay) for the things I (to buy) a bar of chocolate for myself.

6. When I (to walk) in the park yesterday I (to see) a small dog who (to lie) under a tree and (to look) at me. I (to decide) to take it home.

7. The woman (to put) some perfume into her bag when the shop-girl (to see) her.

8. When I entered the shop, the shop-girl (to show) a nice dress to an elderly lady.


Exercise 8.

Use the suitable tense-form.

It (to be) summer time. The sun (to shine) brightly and lots of people (to swim) in the river. Two men (to be) in the water. One of them (to wear) evening dress. The other man (to look) at the man in evening dress.

He (to be surprised) to see the man. He asked the man: “Why you (to wear) evening dress while you (to swim)? “I (not to swim)”-said the man. –“I (to drown).”

Retell the text.


Exercise 9.

Translate into English:

1. Вчера в 9 часов вечера я смотрел новости.

2. Когда мы вышли на улицу, шёл снег.

3. Когда я впервые встретил свою будущую жену, она работала в школе.

4. Вчера он занимался английским с 4х до 6-ти .

5. Что вы делали в прошлую субботу? - Я не помню. Кажется я что-то читал.

6. Я ждал вас с 4х до 6-ти, а потом ушёл.

7. Мы сели на скамейку. Рядом с нами 2 мальчика о чём-то громко разговаривали . Один задавал вопросы, другой отвечал.

8. Становилось жарко, мы решили пойти на реку.

9. Почему Вы разговаривали с ним так долго?

10. Когда Пол открыл дверь, его жена сидела в кресле. У неё на коленях лежала открытая книга, но она не читала.

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