Analisi Lingue

Il past continuous in inglese

Introduzione

Il past continuous è il tempo verbale che serve a descrivere le azioni che stavano avendo luogo in un momento passato.

Il past continuous si usa per:

  1. descrivere un' azione in corso di svolgimento nel passato;
  2. chiedere conferma per un' azione in programma in un momento passato.

Costruzione del past continuous

Il past continuous si costruisce con l'ausiliare "to be" coniugato al past simple ed il present participle del verbo principale:

Forma affermativa del past continuous
Soggetto talk watch eat
I was talking was watching was eating
you were talking were watching were eating
he/ she/ it was talking was watching was eating
we were talking were watching were eating
you were talking were watching were eating
they were talking were watching were eating

La forma interrogativa

Per la costruzione della forma interrogativa del past continuous basta mettere l’ausiliare “to be” prima del soggetto:

Esempi
Esempio Esempio
Was I acting weird?
(Mi stavo comportando in modo strano?)
Were we going too fast?
(Stavamo andando troppo veloci?)
Were you working when I texted you?
(Stavi lavorando quando ti ho scritto?)
Were you working out?
(Vi stavate allenando?)
Was it snowing?
(Stava nevicando?)
Were they laughing when I was talking to you?
(Stavano ridendo mentre ti parlavo?)

La forma negativa

Per la forma negativa del past continuous si usa l'avverbio di negazione "not":

Esempi
Esempio Esempio
I wasn't listening, sorry.
(Non stavo ascoltando, scusa)
Were we talking to you?
(Stavamo parlando con te?)
You were doing a great job, why did you stop?
(Stavi facendo un ottimo lavoro, perché ti sei fermato?)
You weren't paying enough attention.
(Non stavate prestando abbastanza attenzione)
She was taking a walk.
(Si stava facendo una passeggiata)
Were they arguing again?
(Stavano litigando di nuovo?)

La forma interrogativa negativa

Per la forma interrogativa negativa si impiegano le due regole precedenti:

Esempi
Esempio Esempio
Was I not doing it right?
(Non lo stavo facendo bene?)
Weren't we shouting a little bit too much?
(Non stavamo gridando un po' troppo?)
Weren't you driving to the beach?
(Non stavi andando in spiaggia?)
Were you not studying?
(Non stavate studiando?)
Wasn't he behaving childishly?
(Non si stava comportando in modo infantile?)
Weren't they coming as well?
(Weren't they coming too?)

Impieghi del past continuous

Il past continuous è quindi usato per:

  1. descrivere un' azione in corso di svolgimento nel passato:
    • I was doing my grocery shopping when I met him. (Stavo facendo la spesa quando l'ho incontrato)
    • He said that when he saw that thing it was raining heavily. (Ha detto che quando ha visto quella cosa stava piovendo a dirotto)
    • I was cooking, which is why I didn't hear the phone ring. (Stavo cucinando, ecco perché non ho sentito suonare il telefono)
    • At 4 my friends were laying on the couch while I was watching a movie. (Alle 4 i miei amici stavano sdraiati sul divano mentre io guardavo un film)
  2. chiedere conferma per un' azione in programma in un momento passato:
    • Weren't we going partying? (Non stavamo andando a far festa?)
    • Weren't you calling him? (Non lo stavi chiamando tu?)
    • Wasn't he the one booking for everyone. (Non era lui a prenotare per tutti?)
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