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!

Show answers

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!

Show answers

1) begin -> began

2) not appear -> didn’t appear

3) was running -> were running

4) were giving -> gave

5) was watching -> were watching

6) didn’t won -> didn’t win

7) 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).

Show answers

1) broke, was playing

2) didn’t hear, weren’t listening

3) dropped, was running

4) weren’t wearing, met

5) was raining, left

6) ate, wasn’t looking


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


chat on the phone


have a coffee


read a magazine


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

A boy __________________






Show answers

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.