Verbs have different forms, called tenses. The tense of a verb tells us when the action happens. The past continuous tense indicates an action that took place continuously in the past. It is usually used with the past tense.
In this lesson, we will learn
was + present participle = past continuous
were + present participle = past continuous
She was cleaning the room.
I was stacking the chairs.
They were waiting for the bus.
We were listening to the music.
We use the past continuous tense to describe a past action that happened over a period of time.
He was finishing his homework.
I was sweeping the corridor.
We often use the past continuous together with the simple past in the same sentence. The word when is usually used.
She was cooking dinner when I came home.
When I met James, he was looking for his dog.
When she was sleeping, the phone rang.
We can use the word while to indicate two parallel actions that are happening at the same time.
Ben was singing while Sarah was dancing.
What were they doing while she was crying?
She was doing her work while waiting for Paul to come.
We form the negative by adding not after was/were.
Was/were + not + present participle
Contraction (or short form):
was not = wasn’t
were not = weren’t
She was not paying attention, when the teacher called her.
She wasn’t paying attention, when the teacher called her.
You were not listening.
You weren’t listening.
This video teaches the past continuous tense. This is also called the past progressive tense.
This video explains how to make and use the past continuous tense
We welcome your feedback, comments and questions about this site or page. Please submit your feedback or enquiries via our Feedback page.