Le past continuous anglais
Cours sur le Past Continuous anglais, aussi appelé prétérit progressif ou past progressive.
Le présent simple (I do) a son présent continu (I am doing).
Le passé simple (I did) a donc son passé continu (I was doing).
Dans cette leçon on va s’intéresser au passé continu (ou past continuous en anglais). Il est parfois appelé passé progressif (past progressive), prétérit continu ou prétérit progressif mais ne vous méprenez pas, c’est exactement la même chose !
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1/ Formation du past continuous en anglais:
‘to be’ au past simple (WAS / WERE) + base verbale + ING
- I / he / she / it was playing, having, moving…
- we / you / they were doing, reading, writing…
2/ C’est quoi la différence entre le past simple et le past continuous ?
Regardez l’exemple suivant:
- Past simple: I had lunch at noon yesterday => J’ai déjeuné à midi hier.
- Past continuous: I was having lunch at noon yesterday => J’étais en train de déjeuner à midi hier.
3/ A quoi sert le past continuous anglais ?
En français on peut le traduire par ‘être en train de…’ (au passé)
>> On l’utilise pour parler d’une action en cours à un moment passé:
- We were waiting at the café.
>> Pour dire qu’une action en cours a été interrompue (on trouve alors du past simple dans la phrase):
- I was drinking at the bar when she called me.
- I hurt my leg while I was running in the park.
- He phoned me when we were having lunch.
- It was snowing when I went out.
>> Quand deux actions se sont passées au même moment, sans avoir d’influence l’une envers l’autre (on utilise souvent ‘while’):
- John was watching TV while Linda was reading a book.
- I was studying while he was making dinner.
- While Dave was sleeping last night, someone stole his car.
- What were you doing while you were waiting?
- They were drinking beer, talking about life, and having fun.
>> Des actions passées qui irritent la personne qui parle:
- Bob was always complaining.
- She was constantly repeating the same story.
>> Des actions passées qui se répétaient souvent:
- He was jogging around the lake every day.
>> Pour décrire une personne au passé:
- When I saw him he was wearing a hat.
- The thief was wearing a black hood.
4/ Le past continuous dans les phrases négatives:
- I was not talking to you (= I was’t talking football)
- You were not playing football (= You weren’t playing football)
- They were not dancing at the party (= They weren’t dancing at the party)
5/ Poser des questions au past continuous:
- Was I playing football ?
- Why were you not watching football ?
- What were they doing when the show started?
6/ forme active / passive
- The thief was stealing the diamond when the police arrived (Active)
- The diamond was being stolen by the thief when the police arrived (Passive)
love / like / know / want / need / seem / mean / prefer / belong / understand / consist / suppose / remember / realise / forget / notice…
- I needed to go to the doctor (et pas ‘I was needing…’)
- I loved this movie ! (et pas ‘I was loving this movie’)
- We wanted to go out but it was raining (et pas ‘we were wanting…’)