Past Time Frame - Bakersfield College

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Simple Past and Past Progressive

Structure:
◦ Regular verbs: add –d or –ed to the
base form of the verb
◦ Irregular verbs: change forms:
see/saw, go/went, do/did, etc.


Use Did + base form to form a question with
simple past. DO NOT use – ed with
questions.
Use did not + base form to form the negative.
DO NOT use – ed with the negative.
◦ Did you see Maria yesterday?
◦ (Not: Did you saw Maria yesterday?)
◦ No, I did not see her. Did you talk to her?
No, I didn’t talk to her. (Not: I didn’t talked to her.)

Use the simple past to show the order of
events, one thing after another.
◦ After I heard the news, I called my mother.

Use the simple past with when or after to
express cause and effect.
◦ When lightning struck, the power went out.

Use the simple past tense for an event that
occurred at a specified time in the past, for
example with phrases such as yesterday, last
week, in January, at 2:00, etc.
◦ I went home at 5:3O pm.

Use the simple past to tell a story (narration)
about something that happened in the past.
◦ When I was a girl, I lived on a street on the edge of town.
One time our horse got stuck in our pool (which was
very small and had no water at the time). We didn’t know
how to get him out, so we called our neighbor…


Use simple past and simple past to show
one action after another in the past.
Use time clauses with before, after, or when:
◦ Before he went to work, he stopped at Starbucks.
◦ After he played soccer, he went home.
◦ When he walked into the house, he greeted his
wife.


Structure: was/were + verb-ing
Usage: Use past progressive to tell
about an action in progress at a
specified time in the past.
◦ When I arrived, he was giving a speech.
◦ When she came in, the teacher was talking.
◦ At 1pm, he was working.

Use the past progressive to describe an
activity in progress for a continuous period of
time in the past.
◦ During Christmas vacation, she was visiting her
family.
◦ She was smoking during the break.

Use the past progressive with while for two
actions occurring simultaneously (at the same
time) over a period of time in the past.
◦ While I was talking on the phone, she was watching
TV.
◦ He was doing his homework while I was working on
the computer.
◦ While I was playing tennis, he was cleaning the
yard.
◦ Completed action at
specified time in past
◦ Ordered events with
“before” and “after”
◦ Cause-effect with “when”
or “after”
◦ Used for narrative
◦ Interrupts a continuous
action (in progressive)
Simple Past
◦ Action in progress over a
period of time
◦ In progress at an exact
moment in the past
◦ Two simultaneous actions
◦ Begins narrative
◦ Continuous action can be
interrupted (action in
past)
Past Progressive

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



Complete the following sentences in the past:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Before I came to school…
After I went home yesterday…
While I was driving this morning…
When I ate dinner…
At 10:00 this morning,…
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