Pelajari situasi berikut:
Yesterday Karen and Jim played badminton. They began at 10 o’clock and finished at 11.30.
So, at 10.39 they were playing badminton.
They were playing = ‘they were in the middle of playing’. They had not finished playing.
Was/were -ing is the past continuous:
I/he/she/it + was + verb -ing
You/we/they + were + verb -ing
Kita menggunakan past continuous tense untuk mengatakan bahwa seseorang sedang berada di tengah suatu kegiatan pada waktu tertentu di masa lalu. Kegiatan tersebut sudah terjadi di masa lampau namun belum berakhir:
- This time last year I was living in Brazil.
- What were you doing at 10 o’clock last night?
- I waved to her but she wasn’t looking.
Bandingkan antara past continuous tense dan past simple tense:
Past continuous (saat berada dalam suatu kegiatan)
- I was walking home when I met Dave. (saat sedang berjalan pulang)
- Ann was watching television when the phone rang. (ketika sedang menonton TV)
Past simple (kegiatan yang telah usai)
- I walked home after the party last night. (perjalanan pulang sudah berakhir)
- Ann watched television a lot when she was ill last year.
Kita umumnya menggunakan past simple dan past continuous secara bersamaan untuk mengatakan suatu yang terjadi di tengah kegiatan lain:
- Tom burnt his hand when he was cooking the dinner.
- I saw you in the park yesterday. You were sitting on the grass and reading a book.
- While I was working in the garden, I hurt my back.
Namun kita menggunakan past simple umtuk mengatakan sesuatu yang terjadi setelah hal lain:
- I was walking along the road when I saw Dave. So I stopped and we had a chat.
- When Karen arrived, we were having dinner. (=Kita sudah memulai makan malam sebelum Karen datang).
- When Karen arrived, we had dinner. (=Karen datang terlebih dahulu setelah itu kita makan malam)
Murphy, Raymond. 1994. English Grammar In Use Second Edition. Press Syndicate: University of Cambridge.