Past continuous tense | Definition | Uses of past continuous tense | Positive and negative sentences | Examples

Past Continuous tense is a part Past tense. Past tense indicates things which has already happened or have taken place.

What is Past continuous tense?

Past continuous tense is also known as past progressive tense. It refers to an continuing action or for a state or event that was happening at some point in the past.

However, it can also be used to describe an action that was continuously happening in the past and an another action interrupted it. It is used to describe conditions that existed in the past.

Basically, The past continuous can shed light on what was happening at a precise or particular time in the past.

Uses of Past continuous tense

  • It is used to describe the background of a story written in the past tense. For example: The sun was shining and birds were flying as the lion came out of the jungle.
  • Past continuous tense is used to describe the change in mind. For example: I was going Hawaii in my holidays but now I’ve decided to go London instead.
  •  It can also be used to describe an unfinished action or event that was interrupted by another event or action. For example: I was having a wonderful dream when the alarm clock rang.

Positive sentences

Subject+ Auxiliary verb+ main verb + Object

Subject+ Were/Was+ Present participle+(Verb+ing)+ An object.

For example:

  • She was waiting for you.
  • He was writing a letter.
  • Rahul was driving his car.
  • I was planning about my future.

Negative sentences

Subject+ Auxiliary verb+ NOT+ main verb + object.

A subject+ were/was+ NOT+ Present participle+ Object

For example:

  • She was not sleeping.
  • I was not walking alone.
  • She was not reading the book.
  • The kids were not playing in the park.

Some examples of past continuous tense:

  • They were waiting for the ambulance when the accident happened.
  • Sunny was skiing when she broke her leg.
  • When we arrived he was having a bath.
  • When the fire started I was listening radio.

Moreover, These are some of the examples of Past continuous tense which we can use while framing sentences.

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