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Past Continuous Tense – Learn English Grammar

Past Continuous Tense – Learn English Grammar with SuccessCDs Education channel. For other English Grammar Lessons check out the PLAYLIST

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Also See lesson on Present Perfect Continuous Tense – Past Perfect Tense –

About this Video:

Past Continuous Tense

The Past Continuous Tense is used to describe an action going on for some time in the past.
It is not necessary to mention the time of action, which may or may not be indicated.

Structure & Form of Past Continuous Tense

Past Continuous Tense is formed with the help of the past tense of the verb to be + Present Participle form of the main verb (verb+ ing)
Subject + was/ were + verb + ing

I/ He/ She was reading the newspaper.
We/ You/ They were watching a match on television.
Negative is formed by putting not between was/were and the main verb+ ing.

Subject+ was/ were not+ verb+ ing
I was not reading the newspaper.
He/ She was not reading the newspaper.
We/ You/ They were not watching a match on television.
Interrogative is formed by putting was/ were before the subject.
Was/ were + Subject + verb + ing
Was I / He/ She reading the newspaper?
Were We/ You/ They watching a match on television?
Past Continuous Tense is most commonly used in sentences where two clauses form the part of the same sentence and describe two past actions.
One of them shows a prolonged activity and the other one shows another action in simple past.
The action described in past continuous tense serves as the background against which another action in
simple past took place.
She was singing when I came in.
Past continuous tense is mostly used with clauses beginning with: when, while, all day, all evening, all last night/ week etc.
They were all having dinner when I left.
When I saw him, he was playing cards.
Past Continuous should not be used with verbs that are not used in continuous form.
Verbs of perception, appearing emotion and thinking are not normally used in continuous form.
A list of such verbs has been mentioned in lessons on simple present and present continuous tense.

Supply the correct tense simple past or continuous in place of the verbs in brackets:
It started to rain while we (play) cricket.
He (jump off) the train while it (move).
When I (reach) home my dog (wait) for me at the door.
She (surprise) to see me when she (open) the door.
The workers (shout) angry slogans against the mill owner when he (reach) the mill gate.
John (have bath) when the door bell rang.
She (break down) when she heard the news

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