help with past tenses
hi im wondering if you can help me with the past tenses below in the sentences and why they are identifided as past tenses. This would be a great help thanks
a) I was sleeping at 2.00AM.
b) Peter went to the cinema yesterday evening.
c) He had been living there for most of his life.
d) John and Mary hadnít been there before.
Re: help with past tenses
Originally Posted by teelewis
a] I was sleeping at 2.00 a.m.- the verb "was sleeping" is in past tense continuous [ or progressive] tense ; your sentence is not complete : what was going on /what happened when I was sleeping?
I was sleeping when the storm started , or
I was sleeping when my sister was watching TV.
Note : 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.
b] Peter went to the cinema yesteday evening- past tense simple.
"Went" is the past tense form of the irregular verb "go" ; the past tense is also required by the adverb of time "yesterday" in your sentence.
c]past perfect continuous tense
Note : The Past Perfect Continuous is used to show that something started in the past and continued up until another time in the past. .
d] past perfect simple tense - The past perfect simple expresses an action taking place before a certain time in the past.
Last edited by Teia; 16-Aug-2006 at 20:05.
That's not entirely correct.
Originally Posted by teia_petrescu
The sentence "I was sleeping at 2:00 a.m." is indeed a complete sentence and it's quite acceptable to mention a specific time with the past continuous. When this is done, you are simply stating what was in progress at a specific time in the past. In this case, sleeping was in progress at 2:00 a.m.:
"He got home at 2:00 a.m. and came in quietly so that he wouldn't wake me up. I didn't wake up until the alarm went off at 6 a.m."
"I was sleeping when he came in." --> "I was sleeping at 2:00 a.m."
There does not have to be an interruption of (in the sense of an end to) a past activity, although that is often the case with sentences using the past continuous:
"I was sleeping when the storm began and the terrible thunder woke me up."
Sometimes two past activies take place at the same time.
I was sleeping/reading/talking on the phone while my sister was watching TV.
Re: help with past tenses
Back to square one
The following statement was made about the sentence I was sleeping at 2:00 a.m.: "your sentence is not complete". That is an incorrect statement. No if's, and's or but's about it. There is no reason under the sun that you have to include any other verb in that sentence. The sentence is complete as it is. And that is standard English grammar. Seeing as I'm an expert myself, I don't think it will be necessary to ask anyone else to confirm that the sentence was complete as it stood.
If you'd bothered to read a bit more closely yourself, you might have noticed that I didn't really argue with anything else. But, I continued with some other comments in view of the fact that you'd made a statement that was incorrect at the very beginning.
Lack of comprehension? Interesting. You know, that sounds quite a bit like an insult. You might want to bear in mind that not posting terribly often in a forum does not equate with ignorance of the subject matter or lack of experience.
When I used the word "interruption" I did not speak of any "end" ; it`s your idea and your lack of comprehension.
Roger that! You don't like being contradicted or corrected --- especially by "Newbies".
Now, do you get my point?
Re: Back to square one
I consider that it is my duty to delete my previous messages, because I don`t want anybody to feel hurt or offended by my words or explanations although this was not [and it is not] my intention.
English native speakers are respectfully asked to be more patient with ESL and EFL speakers because the latter might make mistakes or misunderstand some parts of a message. Patience means understanding on both sides. I am are here to learn and acquire more knowledge of English. I thought I could write my opinions even if they were unintentionally wrong.
Last edited by Teia; 17-Aug-2006 at 10:00.
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