Leslie Linguo

ESL Grammar Course

...to help you in your conversations with Leslie Linguo
The Past Continuous
We use the past continuous to talk about something which happened in the past for a limited period of time. To form the past continuous we use the present tense of the auxiliary verb BE before the -ING form of the lexical verb).

Examples of the past continuous:

I WAS WORKING all yesterday morning.
He WASN'T DOING anything.
I could see that they WERE NOT ENJOYING themselves.

To form questions, change the order of the words. For example;

What WERE YOU DOING at 9:45 last night?
Where WAS HE GOING?

We saw how to make questions in unit 9. Remember also that if we are asking about the subject of the sentence, we do not change the order of the words:

WHO was helping him? - JOHN was helping him.

We saw subject questions in unit 10.

The most common use of the past continuous is to describe a past activity or temporary habit.

EXAMPLES:
Between 10 and 11 last night I WAS READING.
They WERE GETTING up early that month.

Another use of the past continuous is to describe things that were happening when something else happened.

EXAMPLES:
She WAS HAVING a bath when the phone rang.
When I arrived home my partner WAS MAKING dinner.
When they reached the stadium the players WERE already COMING onto the field.

Finally, another use of the past continuous is when we transfer the present continuous to the past.

EXAMPLES:
Present continuous: Everybody IS excited because we ARE LEAVING for Paris tomorrow.
Past continuous: Everybody WAS excited because we WERE LEAVING for Paris the next day.

We will see the difference between the past continuous, the past simple and USED TO in unit 40.
Contents
The Basic Sentence
Unit 1: The Basic Sentence
Unit 2: The Subject
Unit 3: The Verb
Unit 4: Subject and Verb
Unit 5: Negative Sentences
Unit 6: Short Forms
Unit 7: Word Order
Questions
Unit 8: Question Words
Unit 9: Making Questions
Unit 10: Subject Questions
Unit 11: Short Answers
Unit 12: Question Tags
Unit 13: Indirect Questions
Verbs
Unit 14: Verb Forms
Unit 15: Using Verb Forms
Unit 16: The Verb to Be
Unit 17: Auxiliary Verbs
Unit 18: The Imperative
Unit 19: Present Simple Formation
Unit 20: Using the Present Simple
Unit 21: The Past Simple
Unit 22: The Present Continuous
Unit 23: The Past Continuous
Unit 24: Present Perfect Formation
Unit 25: Using the Present Perfect
Unit 26: The Past Perfect
Unit 27: Modal Verbs
Unit 28: The modal verb CAN
Unit 29: The modal verb COULD
Unit 30: The modal verbs MAY and MIGHT
Unit 31: The modal verbs WILL and SHALL
Unit 32: The modal verb WOULD
Unit 33: The modal verbs MUST and SHOULD
Unit 34: HAVE TO, NEED TO and NEEDN'T
Unit 35: Necessity and Advice
Unit 36: BE ABLE, OUGHT, HAVE GOT TO and HAD BETTER
Unit 37: GOING TO
Unit 38: USED TO
Unit 39: Verbs and Present Time
Unit 40: Verbs and Past Time
Unit 41: Verbs and Future Time
The Passive
Unit 42: Passive Sentences
Unit 43: Passive Verb Formations
Unit 44: Using the Passive
The Noun Phrase
Unit 45: Nouns and Noun Phrases
Unit 46: Plurals of Unit Nouns
Unit 47: Mass Nouns
Unit 48: Proper Nouns and Verbal Nouns
Unit 49: Genetive
Unit 50: Personal Pronouns
Unit 51: A, AN, SOME and ANY
Unit 52: THE
Unit 53: Nouns without A or THE
Unit 54: The Correct Article
Unit 55: THIS, THAT, THESE and THOSE
Unit 56: Mass and Unit in Sentences
Unit 57: Quantity
Unit 58: BOTH, EITHER and NEITHER
Unit 59: ONE
Unit 60: Relative Clauses
Types of Sentences
Unit 61: Empty Subjects
Unit 62: Simple Sentence Types
Unit 63: Complex Sentence Types
Adjectives and Adverbs
Unit 64: Adjectives and Adverbs
Unit 65: Position of Adjectives
Unit 66: Position of Adverbs
Unit 67: Some Important Adverbs
Comparison
Unit 68: Forms for Comparison
Unit 69: Comparing Two
Unit 70: Comparing Three or More
When?
Unit 71: Adverbs of Time
Unit 72: Prepositions of time
Unit 73: How Often?
Prepositions
Unit 74: In the World
Unit 75: In a Town
Unit 76: Outdoors
Unit 77: Indoors
Unit 78: In a Room
Unit 79: Objects and People
How and Why?
Unit 80: How?
Unit 81: Purpose and Use
Unit 82: Reason and Consequence
Connecting Ideas
Unit 83: Similar Ideas
Unit 84: Opposite Ideas
Unit 85: Sequence of Events
Unit 86: Conditions