Past Simple/Past Continuous


  1. When I (be) young, I (want) to become an engineer.
  2. Jane (wait) for her friend when she (see) her cat under a car.
  3. Denis (break) his leg while he (play) football.
  4. While I (sit) on the toilet, my mobile phone (start) to ring.
  5. My brother (sing) and (have) a shower while I (watch) TV.
  6. At this time yesterday I (cycle) in the park.
  7. What you (do) when I (phone) you?
  8. I (not hear) when my father (call) me.
  9. Everybody (have) fun when suddenly the lights (go) out.
  10. Joan (not notice) me. She (look) somewhere else.
  11. “You (see) her at the concert?” “Of course I (see) her. Unfortunately I (not can) talk to her.”
  12. We (have) a chat while we (wait) for our coffee in the restaurant.
  13. You (watch) TV when the guests (arrive)?
  14. She (laugh) while she (tell) us the joke. That’s why we (not understand) anything.
  15. I (sleep) while my brother (paint) my face in red. When I (wake up), I (want) to beat him. Fortunately our parents (come) and (stop) the fight.
  16. When I last (meet) him, he (try) to find a job as an accountant.
  17. My mum (cook) when my father (surprise) her with a bunch of flowers.
  18. The radio was on, but nobody (listen) to it.
  19. While we (play) in the park we (see) a terrible accident.
  20. When Kim (find out) that he (cheat) on her, she (tell) him to get lost.
  21. His grandfather (fall) asleep while he (listen) to the news.
  22. He (try) to change a light bulb when he (fall) off the ladder and (break) his arm.
  23. When I (come) in the office, the manager (talk) on the phone, his secretary (type) a letter and another man (wait) on the chair in front of the desk.
  24. When we (arrive) in the mountains, the sun (shine) and the birds (sing). It (be) a lovely summer morning.
  25. While they (travel) around Italy, they (meet) a lot of nice people.
  26. What homework you (say) the teacher (give) us?
  27. I’m sorry, I (not understand) because I (not pay) attention.
  28. Grandma (lay) the table while her grandchildren (trim) the Christmas tree.
  29. I (leave) home because I (not know) she (come) to my place.
  30. Who you (talk) to when I (meet) you in the street?

16 thoughts on “Past Simple/Past Continuous

  1. 1. When I was young, I wanted to become an engineer.
    2. Jane was waiting for her friend when she saw her cat under a car.
    3. Denis broke his leg while he was playing football.
    4. While I was sitting on the toilet, my mobil phone started to ring.
    5. My brother was singing and having a shower while I wached Tv.
    6. At this time yesterday I was cycling in the park.
    7. What were you doing when I phoned you?
    8. I not heard when my father was calling me.
    9. Everybody were having fun when suddenly the lights went out.
    10. Joan didn’t notice me. She looked somewhere else.
    11. Were you seeing her at the concert? Of course I was seeing her.Unfortunately I couldn’t talk to her.
    12. We were having a chat while we waited for our coffee in the restaurant.
    13. You were watchting Tv when the guest arrived.
    14. She was laughing while she told us the joke. That’s why we didn’t understand anything.
    15. I was sleeping while my brother painted my face in red, When I woke up I wanted to beat him. Fortunately our parents came and stopped the fight.
    16.When I was meeting him last he tried to find a job as an accountant.
    17. My mum was cooking when my father surprised her with a bunch of flowers.
    18. The radio was on but nobody listened to it.
    19. While we were playing in the park we saw a terrible accident.
    20. When Kim found out that he cheated on her, she told him to get lost.
    21. His grandfather fell asleep while he was listening to the news.
    22. He was tring to change a light bulb when he fell off the ladder and broke his arm.
    23.When I came in the office, the manager was talking on the phone, his secetary was tayping a letter and another man was waiting on the chair in front of the desk.
    24. When we were arriving in the mountains, the sun shone and the birds sang. It was a lovely summer morning.
    25. while they were traveling around Italy they met a lot of nice people.
    26. What homework did you say the teacher gave us?
    27. I’m sorry I didn’t understand because I not payed attention.
    28. Grandma was laying the table while her grandchildren trimed the Christmas tree.
    29.I left home because I didn’t know she came to my place.
    30. Who were you talking to when I met you in the street?

    • Ca regula generala, ca un lucru 90% sigur cu care sa verifici daca este un Past Continuous in propozitie, poti traduce cu imperfectul din romana si daca are sens, atunci ai un Past Continuous acolo. Exceptiile provin din verbele care nu pot fi puse la forma continua si care, cu toate ca se traduc in romana cu imperfectul, ele se pun cu Past Simple.

      5. My brother was singing and having a shower while I wached WAS WATCHING Tv.
      Fratele meu canta si facea un dus in timp ce eu m-am uitat/ eu ma uitam la TV. Cel mai in regula este “eu ma uitam la TV.” In a doilea rand este o actiune de durata. Te uiti la TV instantaneu? Asa cum, sa zicem, intri intr-o camera? Nu prea. Este o actiune de durata, in desfasurare, ca atare tot la Past Continuous te duci.

      8. I not heard DIDN’T HEAR when my father was calling CALLED me.
      N-am auzit cand m-a strigat tata.
      N-am auzit => actiune scurta => Past Simple => atentie la schema! S + didn’t + V…
      … m-a strigat => cand strigi un nume este ceva scurt, iti ia cam tot cat sa intri intr-o camera :) => Past Simple. In plus este si romana mai logic sa spui “N-am auzit cand m-a strigat”, fata de “n-am auzit cand ma striga tata.”

      10. Joan didn’t notice me. She looked WAS LOOKING somewhere else.
      Fa diferenta intre:
      a). J. nu m-a observat. Se uita in alta parte.
      b). Cand am intrat, s-a uitat in alta parte.

      In prop. a). actiunea de a se uita era in desfasurare si de aceea nu m-a observat
      In prop. b). actiunea de a se uita se petrece exact in acelasi timp si ca urmare a faptului ca eu am intrat. NU ERA IN DESFASURARE CAND AM INTRAT EU.

      Actiunile in desfasurare se pun cu Past Continuous in cazurile pe care le discutam noi aici.

      11. Were you seeing DID YOU SEE HER her at the concert? Of course I was seeing SAW her.

      In primul rand “see” se poate pune la forma continua doar cand inseamna “a se intalni”.
      Pentru lamuriri asupra verbelor care nu au voie la forma continua vezi diferentele dintre Past Simple si Continuous

      Nu traducem cu imperfectul (O vedeai la concert? Sigur ca o vedeam), ci cu perfectul compus: Ai vazut-o la concert? Sigur ca am vazut-o. Ca urmare avem Past Simple.

      12. We were having a chat while we waited WERE WAITING for our coffee in the restaurant.
      Sau
      12. We were having HAD a chat while we waited for our coffee in the restaurant.

      Stateam la o sueta in timp ce asteptam la restaurant. => Ambele actiuni sunt de durata. => Past Continuous

      Am stat la o sueta in timp ce am asteptat la restaurant. => Actiuni scurte, pe care vorbitorul ni se spune doar ca sa ne informeze. => Past Simple

      Deci ori ambele cu Past Continuous, ori ambele cu Past Simple. Practic este exact ca in romana, depinde doar de vorbitor ce vrea sa spuna.

      14. She was laughing while she told WAS TELLING us the joke.
      Radea in timp ce ne spunea gluma. Ambele actiuni sunt in desfasurare in aceeasi perioada din tercut. => Past Continuous

      16.When I was meeting him last LAST MET HIM he tried WAS TRYING to find a job as an accountant.

      Cand l-am intalnit ultima data, incerca sa-si gaseasca o slujba ca si contabil.

      “ultima data” este specifica lui Past Simple in general, este un punct fix pe timp trecut; plus ca nici nu poti spune “cand il intalneam ultima data…” => Past Simple
      Atentie si la locul lui “last” in propozitie.

      “incerca” = imperfect, actiunea este de durata => Past Continuous

      18. The radio was on but nobody listened WAS LISTENING to it.
      Radioul era pornit, dar nimeni nu-l asculta.

      Ambele actiuni sunt de durata, in desfasurare in paralel si pe aceeasi perioada trecuta de timp. Insa “era” NU are voie la forma continua

      => “era” = Past Simple si “Asculta” = Past Continuous

      24. When we were arriving ARRIVED in the mountains, the sun shone WAS SHINING and the birds sang WERE SINGING.

      Cand am sosit la munte, soarele stralucea si pasarelele cantau.

      am sosit = act. scurta => Past Simple
      stralucea = act. in desfasurare, imperfect => Past Continuous
      cantau = act. in desfasurare, imperfect => Past Continuous

      27. I’m sorry I didn’t understand because I not payed WAS NOT PAYING attention. (Scuze, nu am inteles pentru ca nu eram atent.)
      sau
      27. I’m sorry I didn’t understand because I not payed DIDN’T PAY attention. (Scuze, nu am inteles pentru ca nu am fost atent.)

      Atentie la schema de negativ DID NOT VERB (fara terminatie). Si in plus pay – paid – paid = verb neregulat

      28. Grandma was laying the table while her grandchildren trimed WERE TRIMMING the Christmas tree.

      Bunica punea masa in timp ce nepotii aranjau pomul de Craciun.
      actiuni in desfasurare in paralel, la fel de lungi, traduse cu imperfectul => Past Continuous

      29.I left home because I didn’t know she came to my place.
      Ok si asa – Am plecat de acasa pentru ca n-am stiut ca a venit la mine.

      Dar si mai bine : Am plecat de acasa pentru ca n-am stiut ca venea la mine. – “she was coming.

  2. 9. Everybody was…
    Every body-each body, singular.

    Se foloseste “were” atunci cand se exprima un viitor posibil intr-o conditionala.
    Eg. If everybody were to use it correctly, we wouldn’t have to have this discussion.

    • Da, sigur, este “everybody was…” Acum am observat ca am sarit peste 9.
      Este perfect valabil ce zici despre “were”, insa nu vad care e legatura cu propozitiile acestea. Sau te referi la alte exercitii de la alt topic?

  3. Am oferit eu o informatie in plus despre situatia cand intr-adevar se poate folosi “everybody were”, atata tot. M-am gandit ca e ok sa explic aceasta situatie.

    • A, desigur, e foarte ok. Si n-ar fi singura situatie cand s-ar folosi… Numai ca suntem la capitolul “incepatori” si n-as vrea sa-i speriem cu explicatii complexe :)

  4. Asa este. Folosirea timpurilor in limba engleza poate parea destul de alambicata daca informatiile vin buluc…
    Desigur, ce-am spus mai sus ramane intre noi. De fapt engleza este foarte simpla! :)

  5. Buna,

    La propozitia 20. Where Kim found out that he was cheating – nu e corect la forma continua….el o inseala….!??!

    Multumesc

    • Depinde ce vrei sa spui.
      Cand Kim a aflat ca o insela… adica actiune in desfasurare => Past Continuous
      Cand Kim a aflat ca a inselat-o… adica actiune incheiata => Past Simple

  6. am o nelamurire la nr 9

    was having/ pai verbul to have nu merge la forma continua.
    de ce nu avem : Everybody was fun when suddenly the lights went out.

    • “to have” nu are voie la un timp continuu atunci cand inseamna “a poseda”. In rest, inclusiv in expresii cum avem aici, are voie la un timp continuu.

  7. Buna ziua! Imi puteti explica si mie, va rog, de ce vb ” quit” isi dubleaza ultima litera la trecut avand in vedere ca nu se termina in consoana -vocala- consoana ( quitted) ? Va multumesc!

    • Buna Emilia,
      Este un caz special. “u” dupa “q” are rol de consoana, nu de vocala, asa ca el actioneaza ca o consoana.

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