THE PAST CONTINUOUS TENSE

THE PAST CONTINUOUS TENSE

MEANING

Here, let us take a look at the structure along with the use of the Past Continuous Tense which will be followed by a short quiz. Remember that we also call the continuous tenses as progressive tenses.

STRUCTURE

The subject along with the auxiliary ‘be’ and also the main verb

  • We form the auxiliary verb ‘be’ in the Past Simple
  • The main verb is not variable in the from of the present participle.
  • For the negative sentences, we put the word ‘not’ between the auxiliary verb along with the main verb.
  • For the question sentences, we exchange the subject and auxiliary verbs.

EXAMPLES OF THE PAST CONTINUOUS TENSE

subjectAuxiliary verbMain verb
For positive senteneceIwasreadingnovel.
Youwerelisteningpeacefully.
For negative sentenceHe, she, itwasnotPlaying nicely.
Wewerenotserious.
For question sentenceWereyoubeingarrogant?
WeretheyFooling others?

We use the Past Continuous tense to express action at a particular moment which is especially in the past. Let us make it more clear with some examples:

  • I was watching a movie at 11pm last night.
  • We were not listening to her since a long time.
  • I went to the office early because it was raining.
  • She was watching TV when I messaged her.
  • What were you doing when I left?

Remember that in the progressive tenses, we cannot use some verbs. Very often, we use the Past Continuous tense to create a scene in the story. We also use it to show the background situation at the given time. Usually, the story begins with the past continuous and then marches ahead into the past simple tense.

For example,

  • We were watching a movie when you arrived.

Usually, the long and short actions are relative.

  • Watching the movie took a few hours.

Arriving took a few minutes.

Quiz on past Continuous Tense
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