The past continuous tense expresses action at a particular moment in the past. The action started before that moment but has not finished at that moment.

For example, yesterday I watched a film on TV. The film started at 8pm and finished at 10pm.

I was watching TV at 9 pm yesterday.

Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.
At midnight, we were still driving through the desert.
Yesterday at this time, I was sitting at my desk at work.
Past Continuous Tense + Simple Past Tense

We often use the past continuous tense with the simple past tense. We use the past continuous tense to express a long action. And we use the simple past tense to express a short action that happens in the middle of the long action. We can join the two ideas with when or while.

when + short action (simple past tense) : the telephone rang
while + long action (past continuous tense): I was sleeping

When the telephone rang, I was sleeping.
While I was sleeping, the telephone rang.

There are 4 basic combinations:


Parallel actions in the past
When you use the Past Continuous with two actions in the same sentence, it expresses the idea that both actions were happening at the same time. The actions are parallel.
WHILE Past Continuous , Past Continuous
Past Continuous WHILE past continuous
I was studying while he was making dinner.
While Ellen was reading, Tim was watching television.
Were you listening while he was talking?
I wasn’t paying attention while I was writing the letter, so I made several mistakes.
What were you doing while you were waiting?
Thomas wasn’t working, and I wasn’t working either.
Be carefull!!! Non- action verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Past Continuous with these verbs, you must use Simple Past.


Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past.

Use Subject + Verb 2 + Object

Example :

I saw a movie yesterday.

I traveled to Japan last year.

She washed her car.

The verbs in past tense can be regular or irregular. To make regular verbs, add -ed at the end of the verbs in past tense. Irregular verbs completely change shape in past tense.

The rules of making regular past tense verbs:

Exercise :
Irregular verbs
Three most important irregular verbs are “be, have, and do”


“My father was in Italy in 1992.”
“I had a big hamburger for lunch yesterday.”
“They did their homework at the weekend.”

Other irregular verbs



Be careful!!! In negative statements you don’t use V2.

Be carefull!! You don’t use V2 in questions.

Be carefull!! You don’t use V2 in wh- questions.



A / AN
*Use ‘a‘ with nouns starting with a consonant (letters that are not vowels),
an‘ with nouns starting with a vowel (a,e,i,o,u)
A boy
An apple
A car
An orange
A house
An opera

NOTE: An before an h mutean hour, an honour.
A before u and eu when they sound like ‘you’: a european, a university, a unit

The indefinite article is used:
* to refer to something for the first time:
Eg: An elephant and a mouse fell in love.
Would you like a drink?
I’ve finally got a good job.
*to refer to a particular member of a group or class
-with names of jobs:
John is a doctor. Mary is training to be an engineer. He wants to be a dancer.

-with nationalities and religions:
John is an Englishman.
Kate is a Catholic.


‘The’ is used:
1. to refer to something which has already been mentioned.
Example: An elephant and a mouse fell in love.The mouse loved the elephant’s long trunk,and the elephant loved the mouse’s tiny nose.

2. when both the speaker and listener know what is being talked about, even if it has not been mentioned before.
Example: ‘Where’s the bathroom?”It’s on the first floor.’

3. in sentences or clauses where we define or identify a particular person or object:
Examples: The man who wrote this book is famous.
‘Which car did you scratch?’ ‘The red one.
My house is the one with a blue door.’

4. to refer to objects we regard as unique:
Examples: the sun, the moon, the world

5. before superlatives and ordinal numbers:
Examples: the highest building, the first page, the last chapter.

6. with adjectives, to refer to a whole group of people:
Examples: the Japanese, the old

7. with names of geographical areas and oceans:
Examples: the Caribbean, the Sahara, the Atlantic

8. with decades, or groups of years:
Example: she grew up in the 70s

9- with country names with “united, republic, kingdom”
Example: “The United States of America, The Republic of China, The United Kingdom”

There is NO article:
1-with names of countries (if singular)

Germany is an important economic power.
He’s just returned from Zimbabwe.(But: I’m visiting the United States next week.)

2-with the names of languages
French is spoken in Tahiti.
English uses many words of Latin origin.
Indonesian is a relatively new language.

3-with the names of meals.
Lunch is at midday.
Dinner is in the evening.
Breakfast is the first meal of the day.

4-with people’s names (if singular):
John’s coming to the party.
George King is my uncle.(But: we’re having lunch with the Morgans tomorrow.)

5-with titles and names:
Prince Charles is Queen Elizabeth’s son.
President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
Dr. Watson was Sherlock Holmes’ friend.(But: the Queen of England, the Pope.)

6-After the ‘s possessive case:
His brother’s car.
Peter’s house.

7-with professions:
Engineering is a useful career.
He’ll probably go into medicine.

8-with names of shops:
I’ll get the card at Smith’s.
Can you go to Boots for me?

9-with years:
1948 was a wonderful year.
Do you remember 1995?

10-With uncountable nouns:
Rice is the main food in Asia.
Milk is often added to tea in England.
War is destructive.

11-with the names of individual mountains, lakes and islands:
Mount Erciyes is the highest mountain in Turkey.
She lives near Lake Windermere.
Have you visited Long Island?

12-with most names of towns, streets, stations and airports:
Victoria Station is in the centre of London.
Can you direct me to Bond Street?
She lives in Florence.
They’re flying from Heathrow.

13-in some fixed expressions, for example:
by car by train by air on foot on holiday on air (in broadcasting)
at school at work at University in church in prison in bed



1. We use the Present Continuous Tense to talk about activities happening now.
The kids are watching TV.
I am sitting down, because I am tired.
I am not learning German, because this is an English class.
Who are you writing to?
2. We can also use the Present Continuous Tense to talk about activities happening around now, and not necessarily this very moment.
Sally is studying really hard for her exams this week.
I am reading a really interesting book now.
How are you brushing up on your English for the trip?
We aren’t working hard these days.

3. The Present Continuous Tense is also used to talk about activities happening in the near future, especially for planned future events.
I am seeing my dentist on Wednesday.
Polly is coming for dinner tomorrow.
Are you doing anything tonight?
We aren’t going on holiday next week.

Be careful: We don’t use present continuous tense with non-action verbs such as like, dislike, love, think, seem, look, know, feel, understand, want, need, hate, remember, forget, prefer, believe, mean, taste, hear, see, have (when the meaning is “possess”), own, belong, etc.



We use the simple present tense when:
1-the action is general
2-the action happens all the time, or habitually, in the past, present and future
3-the action is not only happening now
4-the statement is always true

With NON-ACTION (or stative) verbs such as like, dislike, love, think, seem, look, know, feel, understand, want, need, hate, remember, forget, prefer, believe, mean, taste, hear, see, have (when the meaning is “possess”), own, belong, etc. we use Present Simple Tense. These verbs ARE NOT normally used in the Continuous Tense (but there are exceptions).

TO HAVE (present simple) TO DO (present simple)
With Present Simple Tense we often use time expressions such as always, often, sometimes, usually, seldom, on Saturdays, rarely, never, every day, etc.