All About Past continuous tense by Dynamic IELTS – IELTS Grammar 2021

Past continuous tense

Past continuous expresses an unfinished business or incomplete action in the past.

Past continuous is also known as the past progressive.

Verbs that refer to emotions(fear, love, hate), usually don’t take the continuous form.

Positive case

Sub + auxiliary verb(was/were)+ ing form of the main verb

i.e.,  I was eating ice cream.

Negative case

Subject + auxiliary verb(was/were) + not + ing form of main verb

i.e.,   I was not playing football.

Question

Auxiliary verb(Was/were) + subject + ing form of main verb + obj

i.e.,

Was he playing football?

Negative question

Auxiliary verb(Was/were) + not + subject + ing form of main verb

i.e.,

Was not she playing football?

Rules

• For negative sentences we insert ‘not’ between the auxiliary verb and main verb.

• Show timing whenever you use this tense.

What is the difference between simple past and past continuous tense?

• Simple past we mostly use for short actions. 

• past continuous tense we use for long actions in past.

• you can join two actions in a single sentence.

i.e.,

 I was playing cricket when you arrived.

[note – we use ‘when’ for short actions and ‘while’ for long actions]

i.e., 

I called While She was playing cricket.

  All About Past continuous tense by Dynamic IELTS - IELTS Grammar 2021

Examples

(Incomplete actions that happened earlier)

  • I was calling when you arrived.
  • He was working yesterday evening.
  •  To describe the background story,
  • As the sun was setting, he took out the ring and proposed to her.
  • I was having such a lovely dream when the alarm went off.
  • To indicate a change of mind,
  • I was going to watch a film but I cleaned the house instead.
  • I was going to watch a film but ended up playing on the computer.
  • To emphasize duration,
  • I was working on that new project all weekend.
  • They were playing cards all night.
  • For old habits that no longer happen,
  • He was always forgetting his keys.
  • She was always singing in the shower.
  • Reported speech,
  • I am saving to buy a new car – she said she was saving to buy a new car.

Example bank

  1. I was watching TV when you arrived.
  2. She was always Driving a car.
  3. Was Sunil playing with the ball yesterday?
  4. Were you being so silly?
  5. I was working as a student in that academy months ago.

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