Past continuous tense refers to the past. An action that is going on at the time of speaking. I was writing a letter at 9 pm yesterday. So, a past continuous tense which is really referring to an action going on in the past at a specific time. It is quite different from simple past tense. You must be aware that tense is taken from another language which means time or period.
Past Continuous Tense Definitions
Past continues tense is used to express an action in progress or going on at a specific time in the past. For instance: I was planning to open the door when he arrived. Now we have two past activities.
1st one was a continuous action that was in progress at a specific time( I was planning).
2nd one happened at a specific time. (when he arrived)
- He was watching a movie last night.
- She was drinking water at 10 p.m.
- They were dancing yesterday.
- We were climbing the rock at 12 p.m.
- You were playing football when I called you.
Past Continuous Tense Formula
Subject + auxiliary verb + 1st verb + ing + object.
subj+ was were + base form of the verb ( ing)+object.
- The helping verb ‘was’ is used with a singular subject. (He, she, it & singular noun.)
- The helping verb ‘were’ is used with plural nouns ( we, they & you)
- I was driving yesterday.
- He was plugging the flowers.
- She was watching a movie.
- You were teaching the students.
- They were listening to music.
2) Negative formula:
Subject + auxiliary verb + not + 1st verb + ing + object.
- I was not driving yesterday.
- You were not teaching the students.
- He was not plugging the flowers.
- She was not watching a movie.
- They were not listening to music.
3) Interrogative formula:
Auxiliary verb( was&were)+ Subject + 1st verb + ing + object?
- Was I driving yesterday?
- Were you teaching the students?
- Was he plugging the flowers?
- Was she watching a movie?
- Were they listening to music?
4. Negative-interrogative structure/formula:
Auxiliary verb ( was & were) + not +subject +base verb +ing +object.
- Wasn’t I driving yesterday?
- Weren’t you teaching the students?
- Wasn’t he plugging the flowers?
- Wasn’t she watching a movie?
- Weren’t they listening to music?
We use the auxiliary verb “was” If the subject is singular like (he, she, it, I)
We use the auxiliary verb “were” If the subject is plural like (we, you, they)
Some exercises for practice.
Fill in the blanks correctly.
- They _____ laughing at the joker. (were, was)
- He ______________ exam last month. (was taking, were taking)
- You ______________ for him yesterday. (Were waiting, was waiting)
- _______it ________ yesterday? (was, were) (raining, rainy)
- The students _______ learning English. (were, was, are)
- I ______ going to the market in the morning. (was, were, am)
- _____she cooking food last night. (was, were, is)
- Ali and Ahmad _______playing with each other. (were, are, was)
- She _______ dancing 💃 qt noon. (Were, was)
- Kamran was __________ on the ground. ( jump, jumping)
- Many students _________ cooking the meal. ( was, were)
- Were they ____________ the thief seriously? ( find, finding)
- was taking
- were waiting
- was, raining
True and false exercise. Put true for correct sentences & false for incorrect sentences.
- Marry asking me many times?
- Marry and John were finding the dogs.
- Were she founding the correct address?
- Wasn’t he manage the conflict?
- Sir John was not want to continue the project.
- We had the chance to win when he was playing well.
- She was not playing well at the end.
- Why weren’t they coming on time?
- Many cars were break down there.
- I was playing game last night.
- She were not playing well piano.
- He was sleeping while the game started.
- We were enjoying the game until he arrived.
- Were they watching the match?
- John was not wanted to come.
True and false exercise answers.
- Marry asking me many times? false
- Marry and John were finding the dogs. true
- Were she founding the correct address? false
- Wasn’t he manage the conflict? false
- Sir John was not want to continue the project. false
- We had the chance to win when he was playing well. false
- She was not playing well at the end. true
- Why weren’t they coming on time? true
- Many cars were break down there. false
- I was playing game last night. true
- She were not playing well piano. false
- He was sleeping while the game started. true
- We were enjoying the game until he arrived. true
- Were they watching the match? true
- John was not wanted to come. false