Past Continuous/Progressive Tense 


We use the Past Continuous Tense to say that something was going on around a particular time in the past.

Forming present continuous

subject + am/is/are + V –ing.
I am studying.
Tom is working.
The children are playing.

Forming past continuous tense

subject + was/were +V -ing.
I was studying.
Tom was working.
The children were playing.

Also See: Past Progressive Exercise

PDF Exercises: Past Continuous 1 / Past Continuous 2


AFFIRMATIVE STATEMENTSNEGATIVE STATEMENTS
SubjectPast Tense of BeBase Form of Verb +IngSubjectPast Tense of Be + NotBase Form of Verb +Ing
I
He
She
It
wasworking.I
He
She
It
was not
(wasn't)
working.
We
You
They
wereworking.We
You
They
were not
(weren't)
working.



Yes / No Questions



YES/NO QUESTIONS
Past Tense of BeSubjectBase For of Verb + IngShort Answers
Affirmative
Short Answers
Negative
WasI
he
she
it
working?Yes.I
he
she
it
wasNo.I
he
she
it
was not
(wasn't)
Werewe
you
they
working?we
you
they
werewe
you
they
were not
(weren't)



Example Sentences



I was studying chemistry last night.
In 1992 we were living in Cuba.
Today she’s wearing a blue dress, but yesterday she was wearing a black one.
Jimmy wasn’t working very hard.
The players were not playing well.
When the phone rang I was cleaning the windows.
I fell asleep while I was reading a book.
He was driving fast when the accident happened.

Were you watching television when I called you?
No, I wasn’t. I was listening to music.

Was it raining when you left the house?
No, it wasn’t. It was sleeting when I left the house.



Punctuation and Order



We can change the order of the two parts of a sentence containing a continuous action (main clause). When we begin with the main clause, we do not use a comma (,) between the two parts. When we begin with the time clause, we add a comma (,) between the two parts.

I was walking along the beach when it started to rain.
When it started to rain, I was walking along the beach.

Jonathan arrived while I was sleeping.
While I was sleeping, Jonathan arrived.

My father arrived as my mother was cooking.
As my mother was cooking, my father arrived.

It started to rain just as we were coming out of the building.
As we were coming out of the building, it started to rain.



TIME EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY USED WITH THE PAST CONT:


As we were playing, it started to rain.
While we were playing, it started to snow.
This time yesterday we were playing basketball.
All last night they were traveling through Anatolia.
We were having dinner between seven and eight yesterday evening.
It was raining at noon yesterday.
I was not visiting the museum at ten yesterday. I was visiting the castle then.


NOTE: While/as can be used with Simple Past tense.

As/while he shaved he thought about the coming interview.

See past continuous exercise

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