Hello boys and girls:
The past continuous tense is an important tense in English. We use it to say what we were in the middle of doing at a particular moment in the past.
How do we make the Past Continuous Tense?
The structure of the past continuous tense is:
|subject||+||auxiliary verb BE||+||main verb|
|conjugated in simple past tense||present participle|
|base + ing|
For negative sentences in the past continuous tense, we insert not between the auxiliary verb and main verb. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and auxiliary verb. Look at these example sentences with the past continuous tense:
|subject||auxiliary verb||main verb|
|–||He, she, it||was||not||helping||Mary.|
How do we use the Past Continuous Tense?
The past continuous tense expresses action at a particular moment in the past. The action started before that moment but has not finished at that moment. For example, yesterday I watched a film on TV. The film started at 7pm and finished at 9pm.
|At 8pm yesterday, I was watching TV.|
|At 8pm, I was in the middle of watching TV.|
When we use the past continuous tense, our listener usually knows or understands what time we are talking about. Look at these examples:
- I was working at 10pm last night.
- They were not playing football at 9am this morning.
- What were you doing at 10pm last night?
- What were you doing when he arrived?
- She was cooking when I telephoned her.
- We were having dinner when it started to rain.
- Ram went home early because it was snowing.