Browse Tag: past progressive tense

Grammar Tutorial: Summary of the Progressive Tenses

To recapitulate the previous posts in progressive tenses (present, past, and future), the writer prepares related exercises to evaluate your mastery of this lesson. The run-down of practice exercises come after the brief discussion of each progressive tense. Just check your answer/s in the provided key to correction once you are done.

Let us begin our summary with the Present progressive tense. This tense of the verb is used to show an on-going action at the time of speaking. Here, we use the am/ is/ are + present participle or the verb in –ing (talking, walking, etc.) Sometimes it is also used to denote future action.

Next is past progressive tense. To express this tense correctly, you have to remember that there should be two past actions: One is going on at the time when another thing happened. The form is: was (singular) / were (plural) + present participle (walking, talking, etc.)

Lastly, the future progressive tense of the verb is used almost similar to the usage of the future perfect tense. It tells us continuous action in the future before another future action occurs. Time markers such as: by the year ends, by the start of the week, a week from now and so on are commonly used. To form the future progressive tense, we have to use the will be + present participle of the verb (will be celebrating, will be eating, etc.)

Write the correct form of each given verb in the parentheses. Check your answer /s below.
1. The students (protest) over the tuition fee hike.
2. By the time she (graduate), Melissa (receive) many job invitations.
3. Many people (file) their income tax returns when they (announce) the deadline.
4. She (come) home by the year ends.
5. The teacher (retire) next month.
6. She (tell) them the good news in a few weeks from now.
7. The principal (leave) her post by the time she (receive) complaints from the faculty members.
8. My mother (contemplate) on a possible change of career.
9. She (travel) to different places by the time she (reach) the age 40.
10. Melissa (read) the novel fifty shades of Gray when a friend (invite) her to watch its movie version.

Answer key
1. were protesting
2. graduates, will be receiving
3. were filing, announced
4. will be coming
5. is retiring
6. will be telling
7. will be leaving, receives
8. is contemplating
9. will be traveling, reaches
10. was reading, invited

Grammar Tutorial: Past Progressive Tense

Written by Leny Ortega

Past Progressive Tense of the verb is used when something was going on before another action happened. Remember, these two actions are both in the past. Only the action that was going on uses the past progressive tense while the other action uses the simple past tense.

1st past action (on-going)             2nd past action
Form:  (singular) was + verb – ing                     simple past (talked, walked, etc)
                    (plural )  were + verb – ing

1. The teacher was discussing the lesson when the group of rowdy men entered the classroom.

2. The civilians were crossing the river when they heard a loud explosion.

3. The UN peace troopers were meeting their members when foreign terrorists attacked the camp.

Exercises: Use the correct form of the verb inside the parentheses.

1. Melissa (sing) her contest piece when the audience (shout) delightfully at her performance.

2. The GLEE Club members (prepare) their repertoire when the adviser (ask) them to revise the list.

3. The ballerina (practice) her routine when her partner accidentally (slip) on the floor.

4. The news reporter (deliver) the news when a storm surge (reach) his place.

5. The militant groups (ask) for a signature campaign against the president when the presidential
spoke person (call) for a press conference.


1. The answers are was singing and shouted respectively. Melissa is singular that is why was is used. The first verb sing is formed as was singing and the other verb is in simple past, shouted. This means that Melissa was actually singing (on- going) then a shout was heard from the audience.

2. In this number “were preparing” is the first on- going past action. We could imagine here that members were on the process of selecting the songs and dance number to include in the repertoire when all of a sudden the club adviser asked them to revise the items included in the list. Therefore, the correct answers here are: were preparing and asked.

3. In this number, both the ballerina and her partner were dancing (Meaning on-going). The ballerina was busy doing her part of the routine then the partner accidentally slipped. So, the correct answers are was practicing (ballerina –singular) and slipped.

4. In sentence number 4, we can actually imagine a television news reporter doing her usual account of a typhoon when a big wave of water was seen on the background reached his place. Therefore, the news reporting was on- going when a storm surged occurred. Answers: was delivering and reached.

5. The answers to this number are: were asking and called. We use “were asking” because the subject is plural (militant groups). The idea here is that the groups were busy asking people to sign in favor of their campaign against the president. Then, probably after hearing this propaganda against the president the spoke person announced of an urgent press conference.