Past Continuous Review

You will check out the Past Continuous Tense.


Past Continuous Review

Cold War Conflicts

Instructions: Read a short introduction to the Cold War Conflicts.

The name Cold War was given to the tension-filled standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union, that lasted from World War II to 1991. The US and the USSR never officially fired shots at each other, but the two states fought numerous proxy wars intending to foster the growth of capitalism or communism in certain parts of the world.

Cold War Conflicts. Retrieved and adapted January 2017 from

Getting started: The Domino Theory

Instructions: Read the text, then do the activity suggested.

One of the main reasons the United States felt the need to fight communist uprisings in several smaller, strategically unimportant nations was the Domino Theory. It was propagated after World War II ended, largely as a result of a communist uprising in French-controlled Vietnam. Policy analysts in Washington worried that a successful communist revolt in Vietnam would encourage the communist factions of other Southeast Asian nations to similarly rise, causing the other precarious monarchical, capitalist states of Southeast Asia to fall to communism one after another, like dominoes. This theory was first articulated to the American public by President Dwight Eisenhower in an April 1954 speech. Eisenhower was trying to bolster domestic support for increased aid to the French forces and government in South Vietnam, and he stated his fears that the loss of Vietnam to communism might encourage the rest of the region to become communist too, perhaps even endangering Japan who depended upon Southeast Asia for trade. The domino theory largely motivated American foreign policy in Asia over the following decades.

Cold War Conflicts. Retrieved and adapted January 2017 from

US General Information

Instructions: Choose T (true) or F (false) for the following statements.

The United States was thinking about a Domino Theory.

Eisenhower was trying to support the French forces.

He was mainly trying to stop communism in America.

Let’s check out the Past Continuous Tense.

Instructions: Read the information about the Past Continuous Tense.

Remember: The Past Continuous is used to indicate that:

  1. A long action in the past was interrupted by a shorter action (usually expressed in the Simple past).


    • The guests were having dinner when they heard a horrible scream.
    • When the murder took place, She was hiding between the statues.
    • The murder occurred while the guests were having dinner.

  2. A long action in the past was taking place or interrupted at a specific time.


    • She was hiding between the statues at the time of the murder.
    • Last night at 6 pm, I was eating dinner.

  3. Several actions are taking place at the same time in the past (“parallel actions”).


    • Detective Hercule Poirot was questioning a witness while Superintendent
    • Sugden was observing the crime scene.
    • While Ellen was reading, Tim was watching the news.

  4. Parallel actions in the past continuous are often used to describe the atmosphere of a particular time in the past.


    • When Hercule Poirot entered the carriage, the passengers were already waiting for him.
    • Two men were sitting stern-faced at the table on the right, a woman was whispering something to her husband, and the maid was crying in a corner.

Look at the word order in the positive form:

SubjectAuxiliary To Be (Past Tense)Verb + INGComplementWhenSubjectVerb (Past tense)Complement.
IwaswatchingT.V.whenthe lightsturned off.  
Shewasreadinga bookwhenher fathercalledher.
Wewereplayingin the parkwhenitstartedto rain.
Theyweredoingthe examwhenthe principalarrivedto the classroom.


Let’s check out the Past Continuous Tense.

Now, look at the negative form:

SubjectAuxiliary To Be + Not (Past Tense)Verb + INGComplementWhenSubjectVerb (Past tense)Complement.
Iwasn’twatchingT.V.whenthe lightsturned off.  
Shewasn’treadinga bookwhenher fathercalledher.
Weweren’tplayingin the parkwhenitstartedto rain.
Theyweren’tdoingthe examwhenthe principalarrivedto the classroom.

Let’s look at the word order in the interrogative form:

Auxiliary To Be + Not (Past Tense)SubjectVerb + INGComplementWhenSubjectVerb (Past tense)Complement?
WereyouwatchingT.V.whenthe lightsturned off?  
Wasshereadinga bookwhenher fathercalledher?
Wereyouplayingin the parkwhenitstartedto rain?
Weretheydoingthe examwhenthe principalarrivedto the classroom?


Let’s check out the Past Continuous Tense.

The short answers for each question are:

Positive short answersNegative short answers
Yes, I was.No, I wasn’t.
Yes, she was.No, she wasn’t.
Yes, we were.No, we weren’t.
Yes, they were.No, they weren’t.

Finally, look at the word order in the interrogative form with question words:

Question wordAuxiliary To Be (Past Tense)SubjectVerb + INGComplement?Answers
WherewereyouwatchingT.V. when the lights turned off?In my bedroom.
Whatwasshereadingwhen her father called?She was reading a novel.
Wenwereyouplayingwhen it started to rain?Yesterday afternoon.
Whyweretheywritingwhen the principal got into the classroom?They were doing an exam.



The Vietnam war

Instructions: Drag and drop the most suitable verb + ING in the following sentences:


1. The Second World War was _______________ when the Cold War began.

2. The world was _______________ the Cold War when the Vietnam war started.

3. While the Vietnam war was _______________, the US was facing the Hippie movement.

4. When Berlin was _______________ a crisis, Cuba started a Revolution.

5. While the US and the USSR were _______________ technological progresses, the USSR started to decline.


Brezhnev Doctrine

Instructions: Write the appropriate form of the verb To Be and the verb in parenthesis with ING.

American motivations to fight communism on all fronts were not borne out of anti-communist paranoia; the Soviet Union actively (promote) communism abroad and (aid) fledgling communist movements and uprisings in places like Vietnam and Korea. Indeed, even prior to the end of Worl War II, agents of Soviet Russia were active in China during that country's long civil war which eventually resulted in victory for Mao Zedong's communist party.

done Check


The USSR vs the US

Instructions: Choose the right options in the following text.

After the death of Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev became the Soviet leader. He was following / were following the deposition and execution of Lavrentiy Beria and he was pushing / were pushing aside of rivals Georgy Malenkov and Vyacheslav Molotov. On 25 February 1956, Khrushchev shocked delegates to the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party by cataloguing and denouncing Stalin's crimes. As part of a campaign of de-Stalinization, he declared that the only way to reform and move away from Stalin's policies would be to acknowledge errors made in the past.

On 18 November 1956, while he was addressing / were addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow, Khrushchev used his famous "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you" expression, shocking everyone present. He later claimed that they was not talking / were not talking about nuclear war, but rather about the historically determined victory of communism over capitalism. In 1961, Khrushchev declared that even if the USSR was behind the West, within a decade its housing shortage would disappear, consumer goods would be abundant, and within two decades, the "construction of a communist society" in the USSR would be completed "in the main".

Eisenhower's secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, initiated a "New Look" for the containment strategy, he was not calling / was calling for a greater reliance on nuclear weapons against US enemies in wartime. Dulles also enunciated the doctrine of "massive retaliation", threatening a severe US response to any Soviet aggression. Possessing nuclear superiority, for example, allowed Eisenhower to face down Soviet threats to intervene in the Middle East during the 1956 Suez Crisis. U.S. plans for nuclear war in the late 1950s included the "systematic destruction" of 1200 major urban centers in the Eastern Bloc and China, they was including / were including Moscow, East Berlin and Beijing, with their civilian populations among the primary targets.

done Check