En Anglais il faut savoir choisir entre le prétérit (simple past) : I did et le past continuous : I was doing :
- I was having a shower when the telephone rang. (Je prenais une douche quand le téléphone a sonné)
Le past continuous décrit le contexte (having a shower) alors que le simple past décrit les évènements qui se sont produits (the telephone rang).
Regardons quelques autres exemples:
- I was singing (context) when a neighbor threw water on my head (event).
- People were talking (context) when he entered the room. (event)
- He was entering the room (event) when the fire alarm started to ring. (context)
Here are a few exercises :
Exercise 1 Complete with simple past or past continuous. Use the audio for help/correction.
1) I ________________ (walk) in a park when it _________________ (start) to rain.
2) Peter ____________ (cut) his finger. It happened when he _____________________ (cook).
3) Yesterday my mother ________________ (arrive) at the airport at 6pm. I ________________ (wait) for her with Simon. We _________________________ . (chat)
4) __________ you _______________ (sleep) yesterday when the accident _____________________ (happen) ?
5) When he ___________________ (enter) the room, everyone ________________________ (laugh). He __________________ (shout) and everyone ________________ (calm) down.
6) How fast ______________ you ________________ (drive) when the accident _________________ (happen)?
7) What ___________ you ______________ (do) at 10 o’clock yesterday? I _________ _______________ (sleep).
8) What _____________ you ______________ (do) this weekend? I ______________ (go) skiing and I _____________ (swim) in the sea.
9) She ___________ (meet) Henry as she ___________ ________________ (wait) for a train. They __________ (have) a coffee and _________________ (decide) to meet again soon.
10) Yesterday I __________ (have) lunch with Peter. Then I ___________ (go) to the supermarket and _______________ (buy) some chocolat.
11) Yesterday when Jessica ____________________ (call) we _________________________ (have) lunch.
Exercise 2 Complete the story. Use the audio for help or correction.
We _________ (have) a party yesterday. Everything _______________________ (go) well, people ____________________ (have) fun, some people ______________________ (dance), some ____________________ (play) games. It was great! But then everything ____________________ (start) to go wrong.
I _____________________ (chat) with a friend when we ____________________ (hear) a siren. It _________ (be) a fire truck! We ran downstairs to see what _______________________ (happen). When we _______________ (step) outside, the firemen ________________ (get) ready, unrolling the hose and setting the ladder.
« What’s happening! » I _____________ (ask).
« There’s a fire » _____________ (shout) the policeman
I _____________ (look) up and _________________ (can’t) believe my eyes : A fire _________________ (burn) on the roof of the building!
« The party is ruined » I ________________ (moan). I __________________ (be) very sad.
Exercise 3 Ask the question with the verb in Past Simple or continuous (sometimes both are correct)
1) Q What _________ you ____________ at 3pm yesterday? (do)
A I was sleeping .
2) Q What _________ you ___________ ? (buy)
A I bought a T-shirt .
3) Q Where ___________ he _____________ when you met him? (go)
A He was going to the swimming pool.
4) Q ___________ I _______________? (sleep)
A Yes and you were snoring very loudly!
5) Q Where __________ they __________? (go)
A I think they went to Italy.
6) Q Why ___________ she _______________ ? (shout)
A Because she was angry.
7) Q When ___________ you _______________ ? (finish)
A At 7 pm.
8) Q What ____________ they _____________ about? (talk)
A I don’t know I wasn’t listening.
9) Q ____________ he _______________ very fast?
A No he wasn’t.
10) ____________ he ________________ well?
A Yes he did.