Passé progressif en anglais

Fonctions du passé progressif

Le passé progressif décrit des actions ou des événements à un moment antérieur à l'instant présent, qui ont commencé dans le passé et sont toujours en cours au moment où nous parlons. Autrement dit, il exprime une action inachevée ou incomplète dans le passé.

Il est utilisé:

  • Souvent, pour décrire le contexte d'une histoire écrite dans le passé, par exemple: "The sun was shining and the birds were singing as the elephant came out of the jungle. The other animals were relaxing in the shade of the trees, but the elephant moved very quickly. She was looking for her baby, and she didn't notice the hunter who was watching her through his binoculars. When the shot rang out, she was running towards the river..."
  • Pour décrire une action inachevée qui a été interrompue par un autre événement ou une autre action, par exemple: "I was having a beautiful dream when the alarm clock rang."
  • Pour exprimer un changement d'avis, par exemple: "I was going to spend the day at the beach but I've decided to get my homework done instead."
  • Avec 'wonder', pour faire une demande de façon courtoise, par exemple: "I was wondering if you could baby-sit for me tonight."
Exemples
  • They were waiting for the bus when the accident happened.
  • Caroline was skiing when she broke her leg.
  • When we arrived he was having a bath.
  • When the fire started I was watching television.

Remarque: le passé simple est utilisé avec les verbes qui ne sont normalement pas utilisés à la forme progressive.

Former le passé progressif

Le passé progressif de n'importe quel verbe est composé de deux éléments : le verbe "to be" (was/were)au passé et la base du verbe principal +ing.

Sujet was/were base + ing
They were watching
Affirmative
She was reading
Négative
She wasn't reading
Interrogative
Was she reading?
Interrogative négative
Wasn't she reading?
To play, passé progressif
Affirmative Négative Interrogative
I was playing I was not playing Was I playing?
You were playing You were not playing Were you playing?
He was playing He wasn't playing Was he playing?
We were playing We weren't playing Were we playing?
They were playing They weren't playing Were they playing?