English Grammar Exercises for A2 – Past simple and continuous

1. Choose the correct tense.

Last year, some friends and I 1 wentweregoing to Brazil for three weeks. While we 2 stayedwere staying in Rio de Janeiro, an unusual thing 3 happenedwas happening . The sun 4 shonewas shining one morning, so we 5 decidedwere deciding to go to the beach. Next to us on the beach, a group of boys 6 playedwere playing football. One of them 7 camewas coming over to us and 8 suggestedwas suggesting a football match: Brazil versus England. Maybe it was because one of friends 9 worewas wearing an England T-shirt. Anyway, we 10 agreedwere agreeing . In the end, we 11 lostwere losing the game, but we all 12 enjoyedwere enjoying our international football match against Brazil!

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1 went   2 were staying   3 happened   4 was shining

5 decided   6 were playing   7 came   8 suggested

9 was wearing   10 agreed   11 lost   12 enjoyed

2. Find and circle seven more errors in this text and write the correct words.

In 1980, a 23-year-old athlete from New York called Rosie Ruiz was the first woman to cross the finish line in the Boston Marathon. Her time were was very fast – just over two and a half hours – but almost immediately, the officials begin to think something was wrong. Nobody remembered seeing Rosie during the race and she not appear on videos of the runners while they was running. While the officials were investigating, two students were giving them important information. The students was watching the runners from the side of the road when Rosie suddenly appeared from the crowd. In fact, Rosie didn’t won the race. She only crossed the finish line first because she didn’t ran the course!

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begin -> began

not appear -> didn’t appear

was running -> were running

were giving -> gave

was watching -> were watching

didn’t won -> didn’t win

didn’t ran -> didn’t run

3. Complete the sentences with the correct verb forms: one past simple and one past continuous.

1 uncle __________ (break) his nose when he __________ (play) baseball.

2 The students __________ (not hear) the instructions because they __________ (not listen) to their teacher.

3 mum __________ (drop) her money when she __________ (run) for the bus.

4 You __________ (not wear) glasses when I __________ (meet) you at the party.

5 It __________ (rain) when I __________ (leave) the house this morning.

6 little brother __________ (eat) three biscuits while our mum __________ (not look).

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1 broke, was playing

didn’t hear, weren’t listening

dropped, was running

weren’t wearing, met

was raining, left

ate, wasn’t looking

Challenge!

Look at the picture and match the nouns and verbs in the box. Then write a description of the picture using the past continuous.

a boy

the sun

two cats

a man

a girl

two women

shine

chat on the phone

cycle

have a coffee

fight

read a magazine


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At eleven o’clock yesterday morning, the sun was shining.

A boy __________________

________.

________.

________.

________.

________.

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At eleven o’clock yesterday morning, the sun was shining. A boy was cycling and a girl was chatting on the phone. Two women were having a coffee and a man was reading a magazine. Two cats were fighting.