Making and using the Past Continuous Tense

We use the Past Continuous Tense to talk about a past action at some point between its beginning and its end, for example:

  • He was eating breakfast at 8 o’clock this morning.

Using the Past Continuous Tense

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We also use it to describe an action in the past simple often happens during the activity in the

past continuous, for example:

  • We were talking when the phone rang.

The difference between the Past Continuous and Past Simple

It’s important that we know the difference between using the past continuous and the past simple:

  • We were having dinner when they arrived. (PAST CONTINUOUS)

And here in the simple past:

  • We had dinner when they arrived. (SIMPLE PAST)

 

What is the form of the Past Continuous?

We make or form the Past Continuous tense in the following way:

Positive Form Negative Form
I

She

He

It

—————

You

We

They

 

 

 

was

—————

were

 

 

 

 

 

working.

 

I

She

He

It

—————

You

We

They

 

wasn’t

(was not)

 

—————

weren’t

(were not)

 

 

 

 

working.

 

Question Form of the Past Continuous Short Answers to Question (…were you/they working?)
 

 

Was

 

—————

 

Were

I

she

he

it

—————

you

we

they

 

 

 

 

working.

 

 

 

 

Yes,

No,

I

she

he

it

—————

you

we

they

 

was.

wasn’t.

—————