Hello. Welcome to TopUp Learning and welcome to your one minute lesson. Today we are looking at the past continuous and the past simple for an interrupted action.

Video Transcript

Hello. Welcome to TopUp Learning and welcome to your one minute lesson.

Today we are looking at the past continuous and the past simple for an interrupted action.  When we use these two tenses together, it shows us that the past simple action happened in the middle of the past continuous action, while it was in progress.  It therefore interrupted the past continuous action.  So for example, “I was watching TV when the phone rang”, “The phone rang while I was watching TV”.  So, how many actions are there?  2.  Which action started first and is the longer action? Watching TV, action 1.  “Which tense do you use for the longer action?”  Past continuous.  “What happened in the middle of watching TV?”  The phone rang, action 2.  “Did action 2 interrupt action 1?”  Yes.  “Which tense do you use for the second action?”  The past simple.  Using while and when.  We use while and when to link the two actions together.  “While” is usually used with the past continuous, but it is also possible to use “when” without changing the meaning.  It is not possible to use “while” before the past simple action.  So:  He arrived when I was eating my dinner – good.  He arrived while I was eating my dinner – good.  I was eating my dinner when he arrived – good.  I was eating my dinner while he arrived – No, we cannot use this.  Thank you for joining me today and thank you for joining TopUp Learning.  If you’d like to see what courses we can offer you, please visit our website at www.topuplearning.com. Thank you.

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