ENglish - VinglisH!

Dear Students,
English Section in the exam is a section where some students score very well but others even fail to clear cut-off. Learning Grammar is really essential to score good marks. But, what happens is that students from various boards where lesser attention is paid on English language fail to apply grammar during the examination even if they know the rules. 

So, conclusion is that practicing in some interesting way so that the things remain intact in your mind is important. Keeping this in mind, we have launched this series of "ENglish - VinglisH". We have discussed some basic sentence errors and use of some basic words in English. Also, we learnt about the basic categorization of Tenses. Now, we will proceed with detailed explanation of every type of tense - one in a day.

This is the Twelfth post of ENglish - VinglisH. Hope you people like it.

So, lets start now!!

TENSES are that part of grammar which drastically changes the meaning of a sentences. Tenses play a vital role in Communication otherwise you can do blunders like describing an event which happened in past as an event of future.

Today we will discuss about Past Continuous Tense.

Past Continuous tense

When we want to talk about an action that was happening over a period of time in the past, we use the past continuous tense. The past continuous is very often used with the past simple to say that something happened in the middle of something else.

In the Past Continuous tense, the action was ongoing till a certain time in the past. This tense is used to talk about an action at a particular time in the past.

Identification - 

There are several cases when Past Continuous tense is used viz:

1. To describe the background in a story written in the past tense, e.g."The sun was shining and the birds were singing as the elephant came out of the jungle. The other animals were relaxing in the shade of the trees, but the elephant moved very quickly. She was looking for her baby, and she didn't notice the hunter who was watching her through his binoculars. When the shot rang out, she was running towards the river..."

2. Past actions which have been interrupted. You do not need to mention the specific time, only the fact that the action was stopped for something else.

Ex - She was eating when the doorbell rang.

3. To express a change of mind.

Ex -  "I was going to spend the day at the movie theater but I've decided to get my homework done instead."

4. Past actions interrupted by a specific time. This doesn’t mean that the action stopped happening, simply that it was ongoing when a certain time came.

Ex - At 10 am we were leaving the house.
        He was driving when the rain started at 2 pm.

5. Actions which were happening at the same time as each other. For this use, you must list at least 2 actions which were ongoing simultaneously.

Ex - Was he watching a movie while we were making dinner?

6.  Repetition and Irritation with "Always"

The Past Continuous with words such as "always" or "constantly" expresses the idea that something irritating or shocking often happened in the past. The concept is very similar to the expression "used to" but with negative emotion. Remember to put the words "always" or "constantly" between "be" and "verb+ing."

Ex - She was always coming to the office.
        He was constantly talking. He annoyed everyone.
        I didn't like them because they were always complaining.
        She was always taking all the candies.

7. With 'wonder', to make a very polite request.

Ex -  "I was wondering if you could baby-sit for me tonight."

8. 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.

Ex - I was studying while he was dancing.
       While Meena was reading, Ritesh was watching television.
       What were you doing while you were waiting?

9. In English, we often use a series of parallel actions to describe the atmosphere at a particular time in the past. It is very much similar to narrating a story (as discussed in the 1st point).

Ex - When I walked into the home, my daughter was weeping, my son was making fun of her and my husband was watching television.

Difference between Simple Past Tense and Past Continuous Tense

1. In the Simple Past, a specific time is used to show when an action began or finished. 
    In the Past Continuous, a specific time only interrupts the action.

Ex -
Last night at 8 PM, I ate dinner.                 --------- Simple Past
I started eating at 6 PM.                             --------- Past Continuous
Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner. --------- Past Continuous (means I started earlier; and at 6 PM, I was in the process of eating dinner.)

2. While vs. When

Clauses are groups of words which have some meaning, but are often not complete sentences. Some clauses begin with the word "when" such as "when she called" or "when it bit me." Other clauses begin with "while" such as "while she was sleeping" and "while he was surfing." When you talk about things in the past, "when" is most often followed by the verb tense Simple Past, whereas "while" is usually followed by Past Continuous. "While" expresses the idea of "during that time." 

Following examples have similar meanings, but they emphasize different parts of the sentence.

I was studying when she called.
While I was studying, she called.

Identification from Hindi Sentences:

ऐसे वाक्यों के अन्त मे 'रहा था' ,'रही थी' , 'रहे थे' आते हैं ।

Ex - 

मैं अपनी किताब पढ़ रहा था
I was reading my book.

तुम जा रहे थे ।
You were going.

वह अपनी गुड़िया से नहीं खेल रही थी ।
She was not playing with her doll.

गाय घास नहीं चर रही थी ।
The cow was not grazing grass.

Use of Verb

1. Auxiliary verb “was or were” is used in sentence. 
2. 1st form of verb or base verb + ing (present participle) is used as main verb in sentence.

In every form of Tense, there are four types of sentences:

1. Positive/ Affirmative Sentence  (simple statement is used)

2. Negative Sentence (no, not is used)

3. Interrogative Sentence (Question is asked)

4. Interrogative - Negative Sentence (Question is asked with no, or not)

Positive/ Affirmative Sentences
{Sub+was/were + Verb(1st form or base verb) + ing +Object}

Negative Sentences

{Sub+was/were + not + Verb(1st form or base verb) + ing +Object}

I was studying.
I was not studying.
We were studying.
We were not studying.
You were studying.
You were not studying.
He was studying.
He was not studying.
They were studying.
They were not studying.
Raman was reading newspaper.
Raman was not reading newspaper.
Boys were studying.
Boys were not studying.

Interrogative Sentences

{Was/were+Sub+verb(1st or base verb) + ing + Object }
Negative Interrogative Sentences

Was/were + not + Sub + verb(1st or base verb) + ing + Object
Was I studying?
Was not I studying?
Were we studying?
Were we not studying?
Were you studying?
Were you not studying?
Was he studying?
Was he not studying?
Were they studying?
Were they not studying?
Was Raman studying newspaper?
Was Raman not studying?
Were the boys studying?
Were the boys not studying?

Tomorrow we will discuss "Past Perfect Tense" in Detail.

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