Jenner Acosta Diaz
Aprende Ingles A2
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A romantic story

Past progressive vs. Past simple

The past progressive and the past simple help us to show how two past actions or situationsare connected. Look at these examples to see the use of past simple and past progressive in sentences

Now let’s see the use of past simple: Past Simple. It is used:

Past simple


There are basic structures for the Past Simple tense: Affirmative, Negative and Questions.

Affirmative statements

In affirmative statements we use: Subject plus Verb (regular or irregular) plus complement.

subject + verb (regular/ irregular) + complement

Negative statements

In negative statements: we use Subject plus auxiliary didn’t plus the verb in its base form plus Complement.

subject + didn’t + verb (base form) + complement


In questions: we use auxiliary did plus Subject plus the Verb in its base form plus Complement plus question mark.

Did + subject + verb (base form) + complement +?

Past Progressive

The Past Progressive tense is an important tense in English. We use it to say what we were doing at a particular moment in the past. It is used:

  1. To describe parallel actions: Remember Use While with past progressive, it represents long action.
    • While I was talking on the phone, my wife was watching a soap opera
  2. To describe what someone was doing at particular point in time.
    • I was reading a history book all day yesterday
  3. To express interrupted actions in the past. Remember: When represents short action.
    • I was watching TV when my wife arrived
  4. To describe repetition and irritation
    • She was always crying during the class
  5. To start a story or create an atmosphere
    • While I was going home, I met a beautiful woman.
    • It was a wonderful day, the sun was shining.

Structure of the Past progressive

The past progressive of any verb is composed of two parts: the past tense of the verb «to be» (was or were), and the main verb plus –ing

Affirmative statements

subject + was/were + verb – ing + complement

Negative statements

subject + was/were + not + verb – ing + complement


Was/Were + subject + verb – ing + complement +?


Listen and practice your pronunciation

Think – thought: She thought about her boyfriend yesterday.
Laugh – laughed: My mother laughed a lot during the movie.
Smile – smiled: She smiled beautifully.
Cry – cried: In the story, he cried because his wife left him.
Kill – killed: I didn’t like the film because she killed her friend.
Die – died: It was a drama, he died alone.
Read – read: She read love letters.
Tell – told: She told a secret about the director.
Say – said: The actress said “sorry” to her fans.
Write – wrote: She wrote romantic poetry.
Appear – appeared: He appeared with a bouquet of flowers.
Meet – met: I met my boyfriend two months ago.
Return – returned: He returned home.
Fall – fell: They fell in love.
Start – started: They started a relationship a month ago.
Break up – broke up: He broke up with her.
Steal – stole: I’m in love, my girlfriend stole my heart.
Shout – shouted: He shouted at his wife.

A lovely date

Camila was doing her nails at the beauty salon when she met a handsome man. She fell in love immediately. It was love at first sight. After talking, he asked her to lunch. She was getting nervous because she hated dates. During lunch, they laughed a lot and had a lovely date. The man asked for her cellphone number and she gave it to him immediately. 

After a week, at 10 a.m. Camila was taking a shower when suddenly, her cellphone rang. She picked up the phone, but no one answered. She hung up, returned to bathe and got dressed.  

Later, she was reading a book in her room when the doorbell rang. When she opened the door, he appeared with a bouquet of flowers and asked her out again. She smiled, she was really happy and excited.