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Past Continuous Tense Definition and Examples

Past Continuous Tense Definition and Examples

by Nov 1, 2019English Grammar Tips, English Time Ask Elo

Past Continuous Tense Definition and Examples

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Past Continuous Tense Definition and Examples Chatsifieds

Past Continuous Tense Definition and Examples

Grammar rules Present Simple and Present Continuous Tenses

The Secret to English Vocabulary Past Continuous: The Story Telling Tense

 

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Grammar rules Present Simple and Present Continuous Tenses

When do we use Past Continuous tense?

Asked by @ Diệu Linh (Community Student)

Simple Past Tense Definition

Answered by @ Elo Kasia

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Past Continuous Tense Definition and Examples

Past Continuous Tense Definition and Examplese  @ Diệu Linh, Thank you for your question.

Past Continuous Tense Definition and Examplese  As usual, I will try to explain the difference using simple language and plenty of examples.

English Gramma

Past Continuous Tense Definition and Examples

 

 

Past Continuous Tense Definition and Examples Chatsifieds

 

 

Daily grammar lesson with Kasia. When do we use Past Continuous tense?

 
 
There are many ways in English to talk about the past. We have already talked about the past simple; today we will focus on the past continuous.
 
 
The past continuous (also called past progressive) is not used that often in English but is helpful in some situations. It is used to show that specific past action was happening, or was in progress at a specific moment in the past.
 
 
 
We often use it to tell a story which happened in the past to show that a longer action was interrupted by a shorter action (which we describe with past simple) or that two ongoing actions were happening at the same time in the past.
 
 
 
1) Action in progress at a specific moment in the past.
 
 
To understand it better, we can compare it to Present Continuous which describes what is happening now, at the moment of speaking. In a similar way, Past Continuous is used to stress that a longer action was in progress in the past, or we were in the middle of doing something, at a specific moment.
 
 
Look at these examples:
 
  • What are you doing now? I am working on my computer now.
  • What were you doing yesterday at 12 p.m.? I was having my lunch.
  • Are you watching TV now? No, I am not. I am working.
  • Were you watching TV at 8 p.m. last night? Yes, I was. There was a good film on.
  • Yesterday at this time, Johnny was sitting at his desk at work.
 
 
 
2. Longer actions in progress when something else happened.
 
Examples:
  • We were waiting for a bus when the accident happened.
  • Or somebody might ask:
  • What were you doing when he called?
  • I was doing my homework when he called.
  • What were you doing when you broke your leg? I was ice-skating.
  • I was listening to my iPod, so I didn’t hear the fire alarm.
  • While I was writing the email, the computer suddenly went off.
 
 
3. Expresses the idea that both actions were happening at the same time. The actions are parallel.
 
Examples:
 
  • I was studying while he was making dinner.
  • While Ellen was reading, Tim was watching television.
  • Were you listening while he was talking?

 

We will illustrate the usage of this tense with exercises marked *TT. Make sure you watch for these, as they will help you practice.

 

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Past Continuous Tense Definition and Examples

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