Past simple and past continuous

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Past simple and past continuous

Unread postby abbbb » 03 Mar 2013, 13:34


I am teaching a lesson on the past simple and continuous for CELTA. I wanted to know how can I fully clarifiy the differences between the two tenses.

I am planning to talk about what I did yesterday as the theme of the lesson. For example

While I was eating the doorbell rang.

Can anyone tell me if this will be ok or suggest something better or how to better show the difference.

Thank you

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Re: Past simple and past continuous

Unread postby Lucy » 03 Mar 2013, 20:10

It's a very good example.

You don't say the level of your students. If they are a low level, they may have difficulty understanding "the doorbell rang". In some languages, that just doesn't translate; some languages have to have the structure: someone rang the doorbell.


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Re: Past simple and past continuous

Unread postby becki » 17 Mar 2013, 05:16

I agree, this sentence is a good example.

Remember to explain:
First, you started eating.
Then, the door bell rang.
Then, you finished eating.

This shows "eating" is continuous, and the doorbell rang in the middle of "eating".

I have some speaking activities for using the past continuous but they are for intermediate level and up.

All the best,
Last edited by Susan on 17 Mar 2013, 10:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Past simple and past continuous

Unread postby JRMeadows » 13 Apr 2013, 02:27

Past: was. were. did. had.
Continuous: being. doing. having.
Was being. Was doing. Was having.
Were being. Were doing. Were having.

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