#34 - Past Continuous (Past Progressive) - English Grammar

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Past Continuous (Past Progressive)

The past continuous is used to indicate that something happened over a period of time. This verb form is used to show that happened before now and can still be going on at this time. They are used with active action words in the form of past participles ending in "-ing". They are used with "be" verbs. To form the past continuous, use the past tense of the "be verb (was/were) + verb + -ing".

Past Continuous

To discuss things that happened in the past.
  • They were studying all night.
  • He was sleeping during class.
  • I was waiting for a long time.

Past Continuous

To discuss something that happened in the middle of something else.
  • The children were sleeping when we got home.
  • I was watching a movie when you called.
  • People were sleeping when the smoke detector went off.

Past Continuous

To discuss something that continued to happen for a longer period of time.
  • My head was hurting.
  • Everyone was screaming.
  • The holiday shoppers were rushing.

Negative Past Continuous

The negative past continuous tells about things that did not happen. To make the negative present continuous, use "be verb + not + present participle".
  • We were not playing soccer today.
  • He was not studying last night.
  • They were not walking to school yesterday.

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