Past Continuous and Past Simple Quiz

Try this quiz to test your understanding of the difference between the past continuous tense and the past simple tense.

Choose the best answer to complete these sentences.


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#1. Who ... when the accident happened?

#2. They ... home when it ... to rain.

#3. While he ... his little son a story, he ... asleep.

#4. I ... to the conversation when you called me.

#5. She ... when I asked her to help me.

#6. At 8 in the morning, they ... breakfast in the kitchen.

#7. At 10 last night, I ... ready to go to bed.

#8. I ... the plants while the children ... in the garden.

#9. They ... at the airport when they ... to know that the flight was delayed.

#10. Did you hear what she ...?


English Grammar: The Need for Fluency

If you speak incorrect English, do you feel embarrassed? I’m sure you do! In these cases, people might have trouble figuring out the English you speak and what you actually mean by what you say. Being fluent in English increases your job prospects. One can have the passport to a more successful career and job. Many of those who don’t have adequate command over the language are often held back from promotion in both public and private sector jobs.

The following are the best five ways to learn English grammar.


Grammar is the key to the rules of the English language. It decrees how a statement is supposed to be put, how a sentence should be constructed and which word is used at which place. In case of mathematics we need to have our fundamentals of computation and formulas learnt before we start doing sums; the rules of grammar are somewhat similar. An easy way to memorize is to copy the rules down in a notebook and then learn them up. Refer to them every time you have a doubt. It is important to have the basics and fundamentals of grammar crystal clear in your head. Refer to grammar books and keep referring to them. Do as many grammar exercises as you can.

2. Cultivate the habit of reading.

This is an alternative to constantly practicing grammar exercises. From novels to newspapers, read everything you find. The more one indulges in reading, the more they will figure out the rhythm of sentence construction. Note the word usage and structure of sentences. Use the dictionary in case of any doubt.

3. Learn the nuances well.

Get the concept clear. Know what you are studying. For example, tense describes time. If you have started with tenses in your grammar exercises book, ensure you study them well before shifting to the next topic. Do one topic thoroughly in and out before going to the next. Keep practicing a topic till you are sure that you know it very well and have no doubts. Concentrate on one topic at a time and do not do two or more topics at a time. It will be very confusing.

4. To learn something means to learn the mistakes first.

Know the most common mistakes people make and make sure you do not make similar ones. Search the Internet and find a list of the most commonly made grammatical errors and don’t repeat them.

5. Be involved in learning.

It is always fun to know new stuff; learn newer things. It is as much fun as sports or perhaps video games. Enjoy what you learn. There are a host of new interesting things which you discover everyday. There is fun in solving mathematics problems; similarly, there is fun in learning grammar. If one isn’t enjoying learning, there are high chances that one gets bored and might be reluctant to learn and hence lose out. There is going to be no shortcut to learning English grammar. It is going to be hard work but you’ll know at the end: it was all worth it! The wonders of knowing English is such.

Grammar in English and Grammar Exercises

The easiest way to pick up a language is to learn it the way you learnt your mother tongue. You don’t have to give a second thought about how you say a sentence. It just comes to you that naturally. We blurt out things the way we have heard without thinking much. We don’t think about the grammar and the words or how they are placed. We just know that right.

If you want to attain that kind of fluency in English, you have to consult grammar books and learn the usage of words and where they should be placed in a sentence. The foundations of grammar should be clear in our heads – which word should be used with which word and which word suits at which place. To know it just right, one must take the help of grammar books.

Grammar books will help you develop the intuition of which word to use at which place. You can perform tasks by practicing grammar exercises. And then you can imitate the usages in the context of the situation in which one is placed. If you seriously read grammar books and take interest in sentence formation and word usages, very soon you would be doing it all on your own without any external help because you would have by then picked up the ways to go about sentence formation. You would be easier with expressions and use newer words in sentences. You will develop a sharp intuition as to what follows what and what happens next and what might be the next statement.

You will learn to figure out the correct and the more incorrect structures in English as you would in your mother tongue. To acquire a fine and better understanding of how it all works, one must read an ample number of statements placed in different topics and situations to gather the flow of it. If grammar is learnt as a rule book, there is a lesser chance that one would pick up incorrect usage. It should naturally happen and one must understand why a certain word is used with a certain word and not with any other, and what things mean. This is why grammar exercises and their practice is considered so important.

To start with, you should read the contents of any material in English given to you. Let your mind focus on the key words or important words first. It is these words which convey the basic meaning to you. Also when your brain is concentrating on key words, you will be able to read faster because you understand the material better. You know what you are reading. To figure out the grammar part, scrutinize every sentence narrowly; learn the structure of its construction and what it attempts to convey to its readers.

Learn the differences in each sentence from the previous one. Note well the interesting observations in change of structure of the sentences. Learn the expressions and usage of words. Reading is perhaps the easiest way to pick up any language, correctly and quickly.