English The Past Progressive

Overview

This module covers the past progressive or past continuous tense. This tense is used to show an activity happening in the past that is interrupted by another action or event or to indicate simultaneity of past events or actions.

For example: "I was listening to a podcast when I heard a loud crash."
"We were walking home as the sun began to set."

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The past progressive is used when referring to a moment in the past, during which something else was happening. In other words, something that started before and ended after a specific time in the past. To form the past progressive, we use a noun or personal pronoun + was/were + verb + ing.

pastprogressive

Examples:
I arrived at the concert around 8 pm. The band was already playing. (The band started playing before, and continued playing after I arrived.)
She called me last night, but I was already sleeping. (I fell asleep before she called, and was asleep after she called.)
We wanted to go to the flea market yesterday, but they were already packing up.

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
Writing:
I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.
Spoken Production:
I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.
Spoken Interaction:
I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.
Reading:
I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal letters.
Listening:
I can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.