The Past Progressive Tense

Exercise 1. Make the following sentences negative and interrogative.

1. It was snowing all day yesterday. 2. We were working at that time. 3. They were doing their homework when I came to see them. 4. My father was reading a newspaper while my aunt was cooking dinner. 5. She burnt her hand when she was cooking dinner. 6. We were having dinner when our uncle came. 7. They were playing all day. 8. She was working on her report all Sunday. 9. They were cleaning this flat all morning. 10. You were looking through my papers when I entered the room. 11. Ted was walking along the lane when he heard a shot somewhere.

Exercise 2. Complete the following sentences.

1. At three o’clock yesterday the students of our group … 2. When the teacher came in, the students … 3. When we heard that the phone rang, we … 4. When it began to rain, I … 5. We saw an accident while we… 6. Someone phoned me when I … 7. I met my friend when I … 8. She burnt her hand when she …

Exercise 3. Ask questions to the 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. We were revising our exam when he called us up. (What? What … for?) 4. They were chatting all day long in the garden. (Who? Where?) 5. The teacher was explaining the new material when one of the pupils interrupted him. (Who? What?) 6. She was cooking dinner yesterday in the evening while her daughter was ironing her clothes. (Who? What? When?) 7. They were running quickly because they were afraid to miss their train. (Why? What?) 8. He was rehearsing his part in this play all week. (What? How long?) 9. I was trying to understand that new rule when you called me up. (What? When?) 10. Loraine was still waiting for his answer when he shut the door. (Who? What … for? Whose … for?) 11. You were talking wonderfully at the yesterday’s conference. (Who? When? How?) 12. You were sleeping so soundly. I didn’t want to bother you. (How? Why?)

Exercise 4. Ask all types of questions to the sentences.

1. The wind was blowing all day. 2. She was waiting for a very important phone call yesterday at noon. 3. This time last year she was living in Brazil. 4. When the teacher entered the room the boys were fighting. 5. Dan was having a bath when the fire alarm rang. 6. The students were writing a composition when the dean came to make an announcement. 7. Emma was getting tired and decided to go to bed. 8. This time last year I was flying to Boston. 9. I was doing the washing up yesterday and broke a cup. 10. George and Ann were getting ready to go out when the postman brought the letter. 11. She was talking rubbish and I hope you didn’t believe her.

Exercise 5. Use the Past Progressive Tense instead of the infinitives in brackets.

1. What you (do) yesterday at 15.00 p.m.? – I (play) tennis and my brothers (listen) to the music. 2. It (rain) when we went out. 3. From the noise we heard it was clear that our neighbours’ boy (practise) the piano. 4. While he (learn) to drive he had many accidents. 5. When we first met you (study) English. 6. Who you (talk) to when I came in? – I (talk) to my new secretary. 7. My wife and I (discuss) this problem when you came. 8. Whose book you (read). – My sister’s. I just (begin) when you entered the room. 9. While we (walk) someone came into the house and left this note. 10. Where he (live) when you saw him last? 11. He had a lot of doubts while he (plan) his crime. 12. While George (think) of the career that lay before him Annie also (plan) some improvements in the house and (guess) what else this new change might bring.

Exercise 6. Use the Past Progressive or the Past Simple Tense instead of the infinitives in brackets.

1. He (write) a composition when I (see) him. 2. George (fall off) the ladder while he (change) the light bulb. 3. He often (go) to the library when he (study) at the University. 4. The sun (rise) when I (wake up) that morning. 5. When I (go out) that morning, the sun (shine) brightly and the birds (sing). 6. I (not drive) very quickly when the accident (happen). 7. We (listen) to the radio yesterday when the bell (ring). 8. Yesterday I (hear) that the bell (ring). I (come up) to the door and (open) it. But I (see) nobody. When I (look out) of the window I (see) a boy who (run away). 9. The boys (play). They (jump off) the bus while it (go). 10. My hat (fly off) when I (cross) the bridge. 11. What you (explain) to him? 12. I (not look) at you at all. 13. There (be) nobody in the hall. Everyone (sit) in the parlour and (listen) to the Joan’s story. No one (seem) to pay attention to Robert’s arrival. 14. Alan (enjoy) himself. He (not be) so often in good mood, but today was something special. 15. Someone (sing) next door while I (try) to get some sleep. 16. Everything (go) wrong. He (feel) it, but could do nothing. He just (watch) and (wait). 17. When I (walk) home I (think) I (see) a man who (follow) me. 18. What you (use) that paint for? – I (use) it in the garden.

Exercise 7. Translate the following sentences into English.

1. Вчера в девять часов вечера я смотрел телевизор. 2. Когда мы вышли на улицу, шел снег. 3. Когда я впервые встретил мою невесту, она работала в школе. 4. Она накрывала на стол, когда мы пришли. 5. С кем Вы разговаривали, когда я позвонил Вам? 6. Я часто ходил в эту библиотеку, когда работал в этом районе. 7. Мы встретились с ним в то время, когда я стояла на автобусной остановке. 8. Вчера мы весь день гуляли в парке. 9. Что Вы делали вчера весь вечер? 10. Почему Вы разговаривали с ним так долго? Мы вас ждали. 11. Где Вы останавливались когда жили в Лондоне? 12. Я вовсе не пытался обвинять Вас в чем-либо. Я лишь обрисовал ситуацию, в которой мы находимся. 13. Что вы делали 25-го вечером? – Я смотрел какой-то фильм… – Что именно Вы смотрели? – Я не помню. – А во сколько начался фильм? – В 22.20, а потом я уснул перед телевизором. 14. Внезапно он понял, что уже подъезжает к нужной остановке. 15. Он нашел этот снимок, когда искал какую-то старую книгу. 16. Я как раз открывала Ваше письмо, когда зазвонил телефон. Я подняла трубку. Это был мой старый приятель. 17. Когда я сошел с поезда, Маргарет ждала меня на платформе. На ней было новое пальто и выглядела она чудесно. Когда она увидела меня, она помахала мне рукой. Я не слышал, что она кричала – было слишком шумно. 18. Когда Пол открыл дверь, его жена сидела в кресле. У нее на коленях лежала открытая книга, но она не читала.

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