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Differences and similarities in the Simple

Present and the Present Progressive


1. Use
Simple Past

Past Progressive

action finished in the past (single


or repeated)
series of completed actions in
the past

action was in progress at a special time in the past


two actions were happening at the same time (the actions
do not influence each other)

2. Form
Simple Past

Past Progressive

regular verbs: infinitive + -ed


irregular verbs: 2nd column of the table of the irregular
verbs

3. Examples

3.1. Affirmative sentences

Simple Past

Past Progressive

(was or were) + infinitive + ing

Simple Past

Past Progressive

I played football.

He was playing football.

You played football.

You were playing football.

He played football.

He was playing football.

3.2. Negative sentences


Simple Past

Past Progressive

I did not play football.

He was not playing football.

You did not play football.

You were not playing football.

He did not play football.

He was not playing football.

3.3. Questions

Simple Past

Past Progressive

Simple Past

Past Progressive

Did I play football?

Was I playing football?

Did you play football?

Were you playing football?

Did he play football?

Was he playing football?

4. Spelling
Simple Past

stopped (Double the consonant after a short


vowel.)
loved (one -e at the end of the word Add
only -d.)
worried (consonant before -y Change to -i.)

Past Progressive

sitting (Double the consonant after a short


vowel.)
writing (Drop the -e.)
lying (Change -ie to -y.)

5. Use
Both tenses are often used in one sentence:
While we were sitting at the breakfast table, the telephone rang.
We were sitting at the breakfast table when the telephone rang.

Past Progressive we were sitting at the table

Simple Past the telephone rang.

PAST SIMPLE OR PROGRESSIVE


1. George

(fall) off the ladder while he

2. Last night I
3.

(paint) the ceiling.

(read) in the bed when I suddenly

you

4. Ann

(you watch) TV when I


(wait) for me when I

(call) you?

(arrive).

5. I

(not drive) very fast when the accident

6. I

(break) a plate last night. I

it

(happen).

(wash) the dishes when

(slip) out of my hand.

7. Tom
8. We
9. What
10. I
11. The phone
12. It
13. We
14. The children
15. The car

(hear) a scream.

(take) some photos when I


(not go) out because it

(play) in the garden.


(rain).

(you do) last week?


(see) Carol at the party. She
(ring) when I
(begin) to rain when I
(see) an accident when we

(wear) a new dress.


(take) a shower.
(walk) home.
(wait) for the bus.

(sleep) all night.


(make) strange noises all the way home.