The Past continuous Tense | Past Progressive Tense


This is used in a very similar way to the *simple past. But it’s used to show something that continuously happened.

How do we use it?

Pattern
I/She/He/It + was + verb + ing
They/We/You + were + verb + ing

In addition, it’s used in almost the same way as the past tense, but shows duration of the action/event. The use of be is in present again, but this time they are in the past tense, am-was, are-were, is-was.


When do we use it?

  1. For a past actions that was happening or going on before another started or interrupted.
    Eg
    I was sleeping when he called me.

  1. We also use it to talk about two past actions that were happening concurrently/simultaneously (at the same time)
    Eg
  • I was reading while they were sleeping.
  • They were watching TV while she was preparing dinner.

  1. We also use the past continuous for past actions that were in progress then.
    Eg
    James was doing his homework last evening when I called him.