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Concourse 2

Using two past tenses

One long action
and
One short action

read

Task 1: Look at the words in red here:

walking I was walking on the beach when you phoned me. telephoned
gardening I was working in the garden when the parcel came. post
xword I was doing a crossword when you knocked on the door. knock

Now answer these questions and click here when you have an answer.

  1. Which actions began first?
  2. Which actions take a long time?
  3. Which actions take a short time?

Now watch a short video to help you understand

Now try a test.


read

Task 2: The grammar

grammar

The long action starts first and is in the present progressive.  We make the tense like this:

the subject

the past of the verb to be

the -ing form of the verb

I
you
John
we
they
etc.

was
were

walking
working
doing
washing
trying
etc.

The short action is in the past simple (and is simple!):

the subject

the past form of the verb

I
you
John
we
they
etc.

arrived
phoned
did
came
knocked
etc.



think

Task 3: What word do we use to join the sentences together?
Click here when you have an answer.

connect


Now take a test to make sure you understand.


Two short actions

shorts

With two short actions, we use the simple past for both.

answer I answered when you phoned me. telephoned
pay I paid when the parcel came. post
open I opened the door when you knocked. knock

When two short actions are close together, we use the simple past for both of them.  That's easy


Two long actions

long

With two long actions, we use the past progressive for both.

answer I was listening when you were talking to me. telephoned
washing the car I was washing the car while he was reading the paper. paper
tv She was watching the television while you were washing up. washing up

think

Task 4: What word do we use to join the sentences together?
Click here when you have an answer.

connect


This is the end of this lesson.
Now do the last test to make sure you understand.


Thank you for doing the lesson!