Past continuous

Funções do "Past continuous"

O tempo verbal "past continuous" descreve ações ou eventos ocorridos em um período anterior ao presente, os quais começaram no passado e que ainda estão ocorrendo no momento da fala. Em outras palavras, ele expressa uma ação incompleta ou não concluída no passado.

Esse tempo é utilizado:

  • Com frequência, para descrever o contexto de uma história escrita no passado. Ex.: "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 descrever uma ação incompleta que foi interrompida por outra ação ou evento. Ex.: "I was having a beautiful dream when the alarm clock rang".
  • Para indicar uma mudança de opinião. Ex.: "I was going to spend the day at the beach but I've decided to get my homework done instead".
  • Junto ao termo "wonder", quando se deseja fazer um pedido muito educado. Ex.: "I was wondering if you could baby-sit for me tonight".
Exemplos
  • 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: emprega-se normalmente o "simple past" com verbos que não são utilizados na forma contínua.

Formando o "Past continuous"

O "past continuous" de qualquer verbo é composto por duas partes: o passado do verbo "to be" (was/were) e o radical do verbo principal + ing.

Sujeito was/were radical + "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 no "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?