Past continuous | Gramática Inglesa | EF

Past continuous

Funciones del "past continuous"

El "past continuous" describe acciones o eventos situados en un tiempo anterior al presente, cuyo comienzo se sitúa en el pasado y que todavía no ha concluido en el momento de hablar. Dicho de otro modo, expresa una acción incompleta o inconclusa del pasado.

Se utiliza:

  • Con frecuencia, para describir el contexto en una historia escrita en pasado, e.g. "The sun was shining and the birds were singing as the elephant came out of the jungle. The other animals were relaxing in the shade of the trees, but the elephant moved very quickly. She was looking for her baby, and she didn't notice the hunter who was watching her through his binoculars. When the shot rang out, she was running towards the river..."
  • para describir una acción incompleta que se vio interrumpida por otra acción o evento, e.g. "I was having a beautiful dream when the alarm clock rang."
  • para expresar un cambio de opinión: e.g. "I was going to spend the day at the beach but I've decided to get my homework done instead."
  • con 'wonder', para formular una petición muy educada: e.g. "I was wondering if you could baby-sit for me tonight."
Ejemplos
  • They were waiting for the bus when the accident happened.
  • Caroline was skiing when she broke her leg.
  • When we arrived he was having a bath.
  • When the fire started I was watching television.

Nota: con los verbos que no suelen conjugarse en "past continuous" se emplea normalmente el "simple past".

Formación del "past continuous"

El "past continuous" de cualquier verbo está compuesto de dos partes: el pasado del verbo "to be" (was/were) y la raíz del verbo principal +ing.

Sujeto was/were raíz + ing
They were watching
Afirmativa
She was reading
Negativa
She wasn't reading
Interrogativa
Was she reading?
Interrogativa negativa
Wasn't she reading?
To play, "past continuous"
Afirmativa Negativa Interrogativa
I was playing I was not playing Was I playing?
You were playing You were not playing Were you playing?
He was playing He wasn't playing Was he playing?
We were playing We weren't playing Were we playing?
They were playing They weren't playing Were they playing?