Past Continuous for intermediate learners

The past continuous tense is used quite often in English, so let’s understand exactly when to use it and how to use it. Are you ready? Let's begin.

"Past Continuous" Tense in English Grammar

What Is Past Continuous Tense?

The past continuous tense is used to indicate a continuing action or a situation that was happening at some point in the past.


We form the past continuous tense with 'was/were + -ing form of the verb.'

He was reading.

We were studying.

Question Form

To make a question in the past continuous tense, use was for singular subjects and were for plural subjects at the beginning of the sentence. For example:

Was she looking?

Were you coming?

Negative Form

The negative form of this tense is created by adding 'not' to 'was' and 'were'. For example:

I was not reading.

We were not kissing.

Using Past Continuous to Talk about Ongoing Actions in the Past


We use the past continuous tense to talk about something that was happening continuously in the past.

I was making dinner when she called.

I was eating dinner at 9 o'clock.


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