English Basics

Past Continuous Tense

Past Continuous Tense

Past Continuous Tense

Past Continuous Tense is used to mention an ongoing action of the past. It expresses past actions having an on-going nature. An action, that continued for some time in past, are expressed in Past Progressive Tense.

‘Past Continuous Tense’ is also called ‘Past Progressive Tense’.

Structure of Sentence:

→ Main Verb: Present Participle (1st form of verb + ing) e.g. sleeping, going.
→ Auxiliary verbs: “Was / Were”

Note: If the subject of the sentence is “I, She, He” or a singular noun, the auxiliary “was”  is used. If the subject of sentence is “You, they,” or a plural noun, the auxiliary “were” will be use.

Positive Sentences

→  Subject + Auxiliary verb + Main verb + Object
→ Subject + Were / Was + Present Participle (Verb + ing) + An object


  • He was waiting for you.
  • She was writing a letter.
  • He was driving his car.
  • She was making preparation for the exam.
  • The dog was barking at them.
  • You were smiling to see me.
  • I was planning about my studies.
  • They were eating their food.

 Negative Sentences

→ Subject + Auxiliary verb + NOT + Main Verb + Object
→ A subject + Were / was + NOT + Present Participle + Object


  • I was not expecting such a foolish behavior from him.
  • He was not sleeping.
  • She was not washing her clothes.
  • They were not shouting.
  • You were not driving carefully.
  • The snake was not running toward you.
  • She was not decorating her room.
  • He was not reading the book.
  • I was not walking alone.
  • The kids were not playing with the toys.

⇒ Question Sentences

→ Auxiliary verb + Subject + Main verb+ Object
→ Were / was + Subject + Present Participle + Object


  • Were they going to their college?
  • Was he coming to his home?
  • Was she singing a song?
  • Were you asking me something?
  • Was I calling you?
  • Were the people shouting at him?
  • Was he listening to you?
  • Was she walking in the street?
  • Were you working in that factory?
  • Was I answering the question correctly?

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