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Past Continuous Tense

The Past Continuous Tense, also known as Past Progressive Tense, is used to express an action going on at some time in the past. The time of the action may or may not be indicated. For example;

This tense is also used with always, continually, etc. for persistent habits in the past. For example, "He was always grumbling".

Rules: Helping verb "was" or "were" is used in sentence. 1st form of verb with addition of "ing" is also used in sentence

Structure of Sentence

Positive Sentence

Note:

Examples

  1. She was washing clothes.
  2. They were playing hockey yesterday.

Negative Sentence

Note:

Examples

  1. She was not washing clothes.
  2. They were not playing hockey yesterday.

Interrogative Sentence

Note:

Examples

  1. Was she washing clothes?
  2. Were they playing hockey yesterday?
Note: In some cases, Past Continuous and Simple Past can be used together. For example:
  1. The light went out while I was reading.
  2. When I saw him, he was playing chess.
As in the two sentences above, the Past Continuous and Simple Past were used together when a new action happened in the middle of a longer action. The Simple Past is used for the new action.
Note:

Interrogative Negative Sentence

Note:

Examples

  1. Was he not laughing?
  2. Were you not listening while he was talking?

Rule: Must put Question Mark (?) in the end of interrogative and interrogative negative sentences.

More Examples of Past Continuous (Progressive) Tense

Positive Sentences

  1. I was reading article.
  2. He was taking exam last month.
  3. She was working in a factory.
  4. It was raining yesterday.
  5. You were waiting for him yesterday.
  6. We were watching movie.
  7. They were laughing at the joker.

Negative Sentences

  1. I was not reading article.
  2. He was not taking exam last month.
  3. She was not working in a factory.
  4. It was not raining yesterday.
  5. You were not waiting for him yesterday.
  6. We were not watching movie.
  7. They were not laughing at the joker.

Interrogative Sentences

  1. Was I reading article?
  2. Was she working in a factory?
  3. Was it raining yesterday?
  4. Were you waiting for him yesterday?
  5. Where was he taking his exam last year?

Interrogative Negative Sentences

  1. Was I not reading article?
  2. Were they not laughing?
  3. When was it not raining?


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List of all English Tenses

Below is list of all English tenses including the structure and explanation of usage of each tense:

Present Tense   →
  1. Present Simple (Indefinite) Tense
  2. Present Continuous Tense
  3. Present Perfect Tense
  4. Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Past Tense   →
  1. Past Simple (Indefinite) Tense
  2. Past Continuous Tense
  3. Past Perfect Tense
  4. Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Future Tense   →
  1. Future Indefinite (Simple) Tense
  2. Future Continuous Tense
  3. Future Perfect Tense
  4. Future Perfect Continuous Tense


Relevant Topics  →
  1. How Many Tenses in English
  2. The Sequence of Tenses













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