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1. At 5 o’clock, at noon (в полдень), at midnight (в полночь), at that moment (в тот (этот) момент), другим прошедшим действием, выраженным глаголом в Past Simple и ситуативным описанием.

It was evening. My wife was reading, and I was writing a letter. Suddenly we heard a terrible noise. Был вечер. Моя жена читала, а я писал письмо. Внезапно мы услышали шум.

It was 10 o’clock in the morning when I entered the office. Some visitors were waiting for the manager. The secretary was speaking to somebody on the phone, and the accountant was dictating the letter to the stenographer. – Было 10 утра, когда я вошел в офис. Несколько посетителей ждали управляющего. Секретарь разговаривала с кем-то по телефону, а бухгалтер диктовал письмо стенографистке.

2. All day long (весь день), all day yesterday (весь день вчера), the whole evening (весь вечер), from 5 till 8 (с 5 до 8).

с) the Past Continuous Tense, также как и the Present Continuous Tense, обычно не употребляется с глаголами чувственного и умственного восприятия. Такие глаголы употребляются в Continuous только в тех случаях, когда подчеркивают, что это состояние временное.

He was thinking a lot at that time but he couldn’t make any decision.

d) the Past Continuous Tense иногда выражает чью-либо характеристику в прошлом. В этом случае обычно употребляются наречия always (всегда) и constantly (постоянно). Такое предложение очень выразительно, и в нем показано отношение говорящего (обычно отрицательное) к тому, о чем говорится в предложении.

She was always coming and staying for hours giving pointless advice and asking endless questions. Она всегда приходила и сидела часами, давая бесполезные советы и задавая бесконечные вопросы.

e) the Past Continuous Tense употребляется с глаголами движения для выражения будущего действия, которое запланировано и рассматривается с точки зрения прошлого.

He wrote he was arriving on Monday. – Он написал, что приезжает в субботу.

I said I was returning the next day. – Я сказал, что возвращаюсь на следующий день.

Exercise 1. Say and respond as in the model.

Model I

  • I don’t know what Mike was doing yesterday at 3.

  • He was speaking to the director, I think.

1. to look through the mail

2. to wait for the British businessmen

3. to read an urgent telegram from GML

4. to have important talks

5. to take Mr Brown to Minsk 2 Airport

Model II

  • Did you go to see Jane last night?

  • Yes, I did. She was writing when I came.

  1. to speak to somebody on the phone

  2. to work with some offers

  3. to look through the mail

  4. to read a business journal

  5. to watch a film on TV

Model III

  • The director was looking through the catalogues at 2 yesterday.

  • No, he wasn’t looking through the catalogues at that time. He was writing letters to foreign companies.

  1. to receive British businessmen

  2. to speak to the secretary

  3. to study the offer of GML

  4. to clarify the delivery terms with Bell & Co

  5. to watch news on TV

Model IV

  • Were you looking through the latest journals yesterday at 3?

  • Yes, I was. / No, I wasn’t.

  1. to expect the engineers from the factory

  2. to answer the customers’ letters

  3. to clarify some matters with General Director

  4. to study an enquiry for chemical equipment

  5. to revise the prices for new calculators

Exercise 2. Compare the use of the Past Continuous and the Past Simple Tenses.

1. It was a cold winter night. It was snowing hard and I wanted to get back home quickly.

2. Jack fell off the ladder when he was painting the ceiling.

3. We waited for a bus for nearly an hour. We gave up in the end and walked home.

4. What were you doing on the corner last night around 9 o’clock? - I was waiting for a bus to go down town.

5. When I opened the envelope, I was delighted to see a picture of my friend’s family.

6. I dropped my bag when I was running for a bus.

7. Peter was wearing a white shirt and grey trousers when I saw him.

Exercise 3. Choose the appropriate form.

  1. When the door-bell (to ring) he (to stand up) and (to go) to the door.

a) rang b) was ringing c) were ringing

a) stood up b) was standing up c) were standing up

a) went b) was going c) were going

2. It (to rain) hard this morning when I (to wake up).

a) rained b) was raining c) were raining

a) woke up b) was waking up c) were waking up

3. While I (to have) breakfast this morning, my sister (to phone) from Mexico.

a) had b) was having c) were having

a) phoned b) was phoning c)were phoning

4. When I (to see) her face, I (to realize) my mistake.

a) saw b) was seeing c) were seeing

a) realized b) was realizing c) were realizing

5. I (to take) my umbrella because it (to rain).

a) took b) was taking c) were taking

a) rained b) was raining c) were raining

6. Yesterday morning he (to wake up) late and (to miss) his breakfast.

a) woke up b) was waking up c) were waking up

a) missed b) was missing c) were missing

7. When he (to work) in the garden, he (to hurt) his knee.

a) worked b) was working c) were working

a) hurt b) was hurting c) were hurting

8. Linda (to wait) for the bus when I (to see) her.

a) waited b)was waiting c) were waiting

a) saw b) was seeing c) were seeing

9. I (to look) out of the window and (to see) that it (to rain) hard.

a) looked b) was looking c) were looking

10. When the parents (to come) home from the theatre yesterday evening, the children (to sleep).

a) came b) was coming c) were coming

a) slept b) was sleeping c) were sleeping

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