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Home > English Grammar > Tenses > Past Continuous Tense
     
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  ENGLISH GRAMMAR  
Alphabet
Vowels & Consonants
Word Building
Sentences
Articles
Cardinal-Ordinal Numbers
Noun
Pronoun
Verb
Adverb
Adjective
Preposition
Conjunction
Interjection
Tenses
Opposites
Active & Passive Voice
Direct & Indirect Speech
Vocabulary
TENSES
Kinds of Tenses Tense Table
Simple Present Present Continuous Present Perfect Present Perfect Continuous
Simple Past Past Continuous Past Perfect Past Perfect Continuous
Simple Future Future Continuous Future Perfect Future Perfect Continuous
Present Conditional Tense Conditional Sentences
PAST CONTINUOUS TENSE

Past Continuous tense is used when the action was ongoing till a certain time in the past. This tense is used to talk about an action at a particular time in the past. The action began before that moment but has not finished at that moment.

Structure for Past Continuous

subject auxiliary verb main verb
subject be (was/were) base + ing
I was going.

Structure for Negative sentence

subject auxiliary verb main verb
subject be(was/were) + not base + ing
I was not going.

Structure for interrogative sentence

auxiliary verb subject main verb
be (was/were) subject base form
was I going?

We use the past continuous tense for:

action at a particular moment in the past,
action started before that moment but has not finished,
talking about time of action in the past.
  USES OF PAST CONTINUOUS TENSE
The Past Continuous is used to denote an action going on at some time in the past. The time of the action may or may not be indicated.
 
Examples
We were listening to the radio all evening.
It was getting darker.
This tenses is also used, with always, continually, etc., for persistent habits in the past.
 
Examples
He was always grumbling.
He was continually playing.
We use the past continuous tense when our listener usually knows or understands what time we are talking about.
 
Examples
What were you doing when he came?
She was watching TV when I called her.
I was working at 11pm last night.
What were you doing at 12pm last night?
We were having dinner when it started to rain.
Elena went home early because it was raining.
They were not playing cricket at 7am this morning.
PAST CONTINUOUS TENSE TABLE
AFFIRMATIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I was going. I was not going. Was I going?
You were going. You were not going. Were you going?
We were going. We were not going. Were we going?
He/She was going. He/She was not going. Was he/she going?
They were going. They were not going. Were they going?
You may also like to see
Kinds of Tenses Tense Table
Simple Present Present Continuous Present Perfect Present Perfect Continuous
Simple Past Past Continuous Past Perfect Past Perfect Continuous
Simple Future Future Continuous Future Perfect Future Perfect Continuous
Present Conditional Tense Conditional Sentences