The Past Continuous

What is The Past Continuous

In this chapter, you’ll learn how to paint vivid pictures of actions that were happening in the past. You’ll be a master of using “The Past Continuous” to tell exciting stories of the past.

1. Introducing “The Past Continuous”

Imagine you have a camera that captures actions in progress in the past. That’s exactly what “The Past Continuous” does! It helps us talk about actions that were happening at a specific time in the past.

2. How to Form “The Past Continuous”

Structure: Subject + “was” or “were” + present participle of the verb

Was” is used with “I,” “he,” “she,” and “it.”

Were” is used with “you,” “we,” and “they.”

3. Positive Sentences

When you want to describe an action that was happening in the past, use “was” or “were” followed by the -ing form of the verb.


I was playing with my toys.

They were dancing at the party.

4. Negative Sentences

For negatives, add “not” after “was” or “were.”


She was not sleeping when the storm started. (or She wasn’t sleeping…)

We were not studying at that time. (or We weren’t studying…)

5. Questions

To ask about actions that were happening in the past, start with “was” or “were” depending on the subject.


Was he playing video games when you called?

Were they watching a film yesterday?

6. Practice Time

Practice creating scenes from the past using “The Past Continuous” tense. Imagine you’re a storyteller bringing the past to life!

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