Past continuous tense

Functies van de Past continuous

De past continuous beschrijft handelingen of gebeurtenissen in een tijd voorafgaand aan het heden, die in het verleden begonnen is en die nog steeds aan de gang is op het moment van spreken. In andere woorden, het beschrijft een onafgemaakte of onvolledige handeling in het verleden.

Het wordt gebruikt:

  • Vaak, om de achtergrond van een verhaal dat in de verleden tijd geschreven is te beschrijven, bijv. "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..."
  • om een onafgemaakte handeling te beschrijven die onderbroken wordt door een andere gebeurtenis of handeling, bijv. "I was having a beautiful dream when the alarm clock rang."
  • bij een gedachtenverandering, bijv. "I was going to spend the day at the beach but I've decided to get my homework done instead."
  • met 'wonder', om een heel beleefd verzoek te doen, bijv. "I was wondering if you could baby-sit for me tonight."
Voorbeelden
  • 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.

Let op: met werkwoorden die gewoonlijk niet in de duratieve vorm gebruikt worden, wordt de simple past gebruikt.

Het maken van de Duratieve vorm

De past continuous van elk werkwoord bestaat uit twee onderdelen: de verleden tijd van het werkwoord "to be" (was/were), en de basis van het hoofdwerkwoord +ing.

Onderwerp was/were base + ing
They were watching
Bevestigend
She was reading
Ontkennend
She wasn't reading
Vragend
Was she reading?
Vragend ontkennend
Wasn't she reading?
To play, past continuous
Bevestigend Ontkennend Vragend
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?