Grammar Guide

Educall Language Academy

Past Continuous Tense

We use this tense when we talk about actions that was happening at a specific time in the past.

Affirmative: SUBJECT+WAS/WERE+DOING+OBJECT

I

He  

She       

It 

was working.

You

We        

They

were working.

Negative: SUBJECT+WAS/WERE NOT+DOING+OBJECT

I

He

She

It

 

was not

(wasn't)

working.

You

We

They

were not

(weren't)

working.

Question:WAS/WERE+SUBJECT+DOING+OBJECT?

Was

I

he

she

it

working?
Were

you

we

they

working?

With Past Continuous Tense we generally use when or while.

interrupted actions:

      

They were eating breakfast when the police rang the doorbell.

 

She was sleeping when the burglar broke into the apartment.

two actions happening at the same time in the past:

While we were watching TV, our daughter was doing homework.

 

With while we use Past Simple, but with when we can use Past Simple Tense or Past Continuous Tense (usually Past Simple Tense)

  • When Sally’s boyfriend arrived, she was dry blowing her hair. (interrupted action)
  • While Sally was dry blowing her hair, her boyfriend arrived. (interrupted action)

 

We can also use as instead of when/while:

  • As she cooked dinner, she listened to music. (two things happening at the same time)
  • As he was leaving, he realized he forgot to take his umbrella. (interrupted action)

 

We also use Past Continuous Tense  to describe a  scene or memory:

 

 

It was a peaceful night.

The moon was shining bright,

the owls were sitting on the branches,

and everybody in the town was sleeping soundly.