Past simple, past continuous. What’s the difference?
Past Simpleis used for: Completed actions at a specific time in the past;Completed situations and states in the past;Repeated actions in the past;The main events and situations in the story.
Examples:I bought three CDs yesterday.I had green hair for a while as a teenager.We played football every Saturday.I ran out of the house, crossed the road and jumped on the bus.
How to form?Regular Verbs 1. Affirmative sentences: V + ed (He visited his cousin two days ago.)Interrogative sentences: Did he visit his cousin two days ago?Negative sentences: He didn’t visit his cousin two days ago. 1. Affirmative sentences V2 (They went to London last year.)Interrogative sentences: Did they go to London last year?Negative sentences: They didn’t go to London last year.
The only exception: The verb “to be”:She was seven last week. They were happy yesterday.Was she seven last week? Were they happy yesterday?She wasn’t seven last week. They weren’t happy yesterday.
Emphatic past simple We use it to emphasise an action or situation in the past, particularly to emphasise that it actually happened, or that it’s different to what someone else thinks.Emphatic past simple = subject +did+ bare infinitive.I know you don’t believe me but I did see a ghost.
BUT:We cannot use Emphatic Past Simple with the verb “To be”!!!
Past Continuous is used for: 1. Actions or situations in the past which are interrupted or stopped by another action or situation;2. Actions which were happening at a definite time in the past;3. Two unfinished situations or events in progress at the same time.
Examples:She was reading a book at 6 o’clock yesterday.I was dong my homework when my phone rang.They were reading a book while their father was repairing his car.
How to form? 1. Affirmative sentences: I (she, he, it) was eating. They (we, you) were eating.2. Interrogative sentences: Was I (she, he, it) eating? Were they (we, you) eating?3. Negative sentences: I (she, he, it) was not eating. They (we, you) were not eating.
BE CAREFUL!!! Do not use Past Continuous for repeated or regular actions in the past. We do not say:I was playing football every Saturday.Say: I played football every Saturday.
Thank you for your attention!!!