Grammar: The Past Progressive
The #pastprogressive is used to talk about something happening during a period in the past.
I’m sorry I missed the party. I wasn’t feeling well.
Your phone was busy all evening. Who were you talking to?
This time last year, we were lying on a beach in Cuba.
Sometimes two past activities are happening at the same time:
While I was driving, I was listening to Abba.
Sometimes a simple past action interrupts the past progressive activity:
I was taking a bath, when the phone rang.
The sun is 330,330 times larger than the earth.
Earth is not round; it is slightly pear-shaped. The North Pole radius is 44 millimetres (1.73 inches) longer than the South Pole radius.
There are 1040 islands around Britain, one of which is the smallest island in the world: Bishop’s Rock.
The tallest mountain on earth is under the ocean: Mauna Kea in Hawaii is 10,200 metres (33,465 feet) high from its base. Mount Everest is 8,848 metres (29,029 feet) high.
Friday’s Phrasal Verbs
put up with – tolerate
I’m finding it harder to put up with his obsessions, the older he gets.
get away with – do something without being detected or punished
Jason always gets away with cheating in his maths tests.
add up to – equal, amount to
Your purchases add up to $205.32.
cut back on – reduce
The government needs to cut back on spending in the public sector.
Quotes, Sayings & Idioms
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” – Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, b. 1935
hurt = cause pain or injury
“People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” – Those who are in a vulnerable position should not attack others.
To go/to be on the wagon = to give up/to have given up drinking alcohol.
“Will you have a martini?” “No thanks, Fred – no martini for me. I’ve been on the wagon since New Year’s Day.”
wagon – a vehicle for transporting goods, usually drawn by a horse
Words, words, words…
The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with more than 151.8 million items on approximately 838 miles (1348 km) of bookshelves. The collections include more than 34.5 million books and other print materials, 3.3 million recordings, 13.4 million photographs, 5.4 million maps, 6.5 million pieces of sheet music and 66.6 million manuscripts. The Library receives some 22,000 items each working day and adds approximately 10,000 items to the collections daily.
The first Oxford English Dictionary was published in April 1928, fifty years after the project was started. It consisted of 400,000 words and phrases in ten volumes. The latest edition fills 22,000 pages, includes 33,000 Shakespeare quotations, and is bound in twenty volumes.
Friday’s Phrasal Verbs
break out in – start (perspiring)
I break out in a cold sweat just thinking about speaking in public.
come down with – catch a disease
My nephew came down with chicken pox last weekend.
get back at – retaliate, take revenge
My sister got back at me for borrowing her shoes. She took my favourite hat.
do away with – get rid of
If we were to do away with copyright laws we would have much to lose.
Grammar: Review of the Future
Present progressive (plans).
We’re spending our honeymoon in Venice.
Going to + infinitive (observations).
It’s going to rain. The sky’s gone black.
Going to + infinitive (intentions).
I’m going to do the report straight after lunch.
Will (phenomena and facts).
Winter will soon be here.
Will (promises, offers and threats).
I’ll always love you, my dear.
Will (hopes, opinions).
I hope you’ll enjoy your stay.
Remember: no future tense after if or in time clauses.
When I grow up, I want to be a movie star.
I’ll tell Alexander you called if I see him before I go.