Past Continuous Tense, Definition and Examples

English Past Continuous Tense, Definition and Example Sentences

English Past Continuous Tense, Definition and Example Sentences


Past Continuous Tense

If we are talking about the past tense, and if this event has been going on for a while, we usually have to use past continuous tense. When we talk about the past, we mean that things happen all of a sudden. Sometimes we think that the duration of these events is important and therefore we make sentences in this way.

The use of past continuous tense is a structure that we should use when describing actions that require process. In today’s article, we will learn how to use such sentences in positive and negative meanings. We will also support this with various example and structure views.


Positive Sentence

12 Tenses Formula With Example PDF

When constructing a positive sentence in Past Continuous Tense structure, you do not need to know the second forms of verbs. Because Ving is used in positive and negative sentences. The words were and was are used to add the meaning of ‘’past ”. When constructing such sentences, you can extend the sentence using the while word and add new information to the sentence.

The words while and when are useful when you want to describe a situation that happened at the same time when you were doing a job in the past. Here the structure and the examples:

  • Subject + was / were + Ving + Object
  1. I was eating apples.
  2. The phone rang while I was taking a bath.
  3. I was bored.
  4. I was studying the other night.




Note: When using while and when, you should choose to use while for verbs containing continious meaning and when for verbs that do not have such meaning.

  1. When the bell rang – The bell rings just in a moment.
  2. While I was studying – Studying takes time.

Negative Sentence

While having a negative sentence with past continious tense, the same sentence structure is used. The meaning of the whole sentence can be made negative by bringing a ‘’not’’ attachment to the sentence. So if you want to make a negative sentence with past continious tense, your job is really easy. All of the details described above for when and while also can be applied to negative past continuous structured sentences. Let’s take a look at the general structure and examples together.

  • Subject + was / were + not + Ving + Object
  1. I was not taking a shower.
  2. You were not doing that at that time.

Here are Example Sentences with Past Continuous tense Positive, Negative and Question Forms;

  • You were watching television last night.
  • They were studying math yesterday.
  • The students were drawing beautiful pictures when the teacher entered the classroom.
  • It was raining yesterday evening.
  • was learning German last year.
  • was crying while he was laughing.
  • He was working when I called him.
  • was washing the dishes when the phone rang.
  • As she was reading the book, Alice came.



  • You were not watching television last night.
  • They were not studying math yesterday.
  • was not washing the dishes when the phone rang.
  • As she was not reading the book, Alice came.
  • The students were not drawing beautiful pictures when the teacher entered the classroom.
  • It was not raining yesterday evening.
  • was not learning German last year.
  • She was not crying while he was laughing.
  • He was not working when I called him.
  • Were you watching television last night?
  • Were they studying math yesterday?
  • Was I washing the dishes when the phone rang?
  • Was she reading the book when they came?
  • Were the students drawing beautiful pictures when the teacher entered the classroom?
  • Was it raining yesterday evening?
  • Was he learning German last year?
  • Were you crying while he was laughing?
  • Was he working when I called him?

 


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