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- grammar rules with examples
Past continuous exercises PDF
Affirmative: I was sitting, You were sitting
Negative: I was not reading (I wasn't .... ), You were not reading (You weren't .... )
Question: Were you eating? Was he eating?
Negative question: Were you not calling? (Weren't you...?) Was he not calling? (Wasn't he...?)
The past continuous is formed with the past tense of the verb to be + -ing form (present participle).
We use this tense for activities or situations that were not completed.
At one o'clock I was cleaning the windows. (I started before one o'clock and finished after it.)
The sun was rising when I got up. (The sun started rising before I got up and finished after it.)
We use the past continuous for uninterrupted activities or situations.
Tom was playing the piano on Sunday morning. (One continuous activity.)
It is typically used:
1. To express the idea that an action in the past continuous started before the action expressed by the past simple and continued after it.
When she called me, I was having lunch. (She called me during my lunch.)
2. With a point in time to describe an action that started before that time and continued after it.
At 6 o'clock Jack was coming back home. (At 6 o'clock Jack was on the way home.)
3. It is used to describe a situation.
It was a warm night. Sam was sitting on the porch and Betty was walking round their garden.
4. It describes an activity which was not finished.
I was translating a short story yesterday. (And today I am going to continue.)
5. It can be used to show a casual action.
I was chatting with my friend. (I did not do it on purpose. We just met in the street.)
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