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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #37204: Past simple or continuous
    > Other English exercises on the same topic: | Past [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Past simple or present perfect - Past tenses - Past simple (video) - Modal : may/might - Placement test 1 - Adverbs and past tense - Choosing your past tense... - Past simple
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    Past simple or continuous

    Past simple or  Preterite continuous (BE + -ING)?

    1) Preterite

    How to use: Short actions in the past.

    How to build

    regular verbs : V + -ed

    Jordan locked the door 

    irregular verbs : you should learn them on the site :)

    Then, he left (forme irrégulière du verbe to leave)  


                        -Questions: use DID

    Did + subject + verb

    Did he smile

    except for the auxiliary BE:
    Was he happy?

                        -Negation: use "didn't".

    Subject + didn't + Verb

     Mike didn't understand the lesson.     

    except for the auxiliary BE:

     He was not sick.   He wasn't sick.

    2) Past continuous

    How to use: a longer action in the past was interrupted.

    How to build: to be (past simple) + verb ending in -ING

     I was sleeping when the phone rang.



                        Were you sleeping when the phone rang ?


                       I wasn't sleeping when the phone rang.

    Caution : 1-syllable verb ending in: consonant+vowel+consonant = 2 final consonants

    Example : sitting
    But NOT with: helping

    EXERCISE - Complete these sentences with one of these two tenses.

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    English exercise "Past simple or continuous" created by lucile83 with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from lucile83]
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    I (watch) TV when my wife called me. When she (look) up, I realised that she was crying. I immediately (think) that something terrible had happened. Actually, a mouse (run) in the kitchen. I (open) the door and it left. It was late and my son (sleep). I (switch) off the light in his bedroom, but he (hear) me and he woke up. So, I (decide) to read a story but while I (read), I realised that he had fallen asleep again.

    End of the free exercise to learn English: Past simple or continuous
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