Past Continuous (Passé be + ing)

Le past continuous sert à décrire le contexte d’une scène. On utilise Was ou Were suivi du verbe + ing.

  • It was raining. (il pleuvait)
  • You were sleeping. (tu dormais)
  • He was listening to the radio. (Il écoutait la radio)

On va souvent s’en servir combiné avec le simple past. Le past continuous décrira le contexte de la scène, et le simple past décrira les actions qui s’y sont déroulées.

Examples

  • I was having a shower (contexte –> past continuous), when the phone rang (action –> simple past).
  • He was walking down the street (contexte), when he met Jamie (action).
  • The sun was shining (contexte), so we went for a walk (action).

Pour les phrases négatives on utilise wasn’t ou weren’t

  • It wasn’t raining too much so we went out.
  • You weren’t listening.

Pour les questions l’ordre est toujours auxiliaire, sujet, verbe. Dans ce cas : was/were — Sujet — verbe + ing

  • Were you listening?
  • Was he sleeping?
  • Were they singing?

Et lorsqu’on ajoute when, where, why, who, how … cela devient des questions ouvertes.

  • What were you doing yesterday at 3pm?
  • Where was Emily going?
  • Who were you talking to?

Voici quelques exercices pour vous familiariser avec ce temps.

exercices (sauf audio) en PDF:

Exercice 1 Complétez ces phrases avec was ou were et le verbe + ing

  1. Yesterday at 3 am I __was__ ___sleeping____ in my bed (to sleep)
  2. Yesterday was a lovely day. the sun __________ _________________ . (to shine)
  3. The birds ____________ ____________________ in the trees. (to sing)
  4. People __________ _______________ in the parks. (to walk)
  5. They ___________ ________________ much noise when the police arrived. (to make)
  6. There was an accident. The police ______ _______________ with a man. (to talk)
  7. Journalists ___________ __________________ pictures. (to take)
  8. A child __________ ________________ . (to cry)
  9. I ________ _________________ (to sleep) so I didn’t hear the phone.
  10. When the teacher walked in, the children _________ _______________ (to laugh) and _____________________ (to throw) paper airplanes.

Remarquez que pour la question 10, on ne répète pas l’auxiliaire « were ». L’utiliser une fois au début suffit.

Exercice 2 Complétez avec des phrases négatives.

  1. The sun __wasn’t_______ ____shining_______ so we stayed in bed.
  2. We __________ _________________ a very nice time so we went home. (to have)
  3. I ___________ _________________ (to sleep) so I got up to read a book.
  4. They ___________ _______________ (to think) straight so they took a break. (To think straight = penser clairement)
  5. She went home because she _________ _______________ well. (to feel)
  6. I ____________ _______________ anything! It was not me! (to say)
  7. We ___________ ________________ any sun cream so we stayed in the shade. (to wear)
  8. You _________ _______________ because you had to drive home. (to drink)

Exercice 3 Regardez les images puis écoutez les affirmations. Are they « True » or « False »?

1)

True/False

2)

True/False

3)

True/False

4)

True/False

5)

True/False

6)

True/False

7)

True/False

8)

True/False

9)

True/False

10)

True/False

Exercice 4 : Décrivez les images en une phrase au past continuous.

1)

The sun __________________________________________ .

2)

The people _____________________________________.

3)

The dogs ___________________________________ .

4)

_______________________________________________________ .

5)

______________________________________________________ .

Exercice 5 : Posez des questions. Utilisez was ou were puis le verbe avec ing

  1. What ____were________ you ______doing______ yesterday at 5pm? (to do)
  2. ______________ he __________________? (to sleep)
  3. What ______________ she ______________ ? (to say)
  4. _______________ they _____________ ? (to win)
  5. How ______________ your mother ___________ ? (to do)
  6. ______________ Jack and Jill _______________ in the UK at the time? (to live)
  7. Where ______________ they _____________? (to stay)
  8. Why ______________ you _____________? (to cry)
  9. Who _______________ you __________ to? (to talk)
  10. ____________ it ________________ this morning? (to rain)