Friday, May 29th, 2015

Past Continuous tense – Past Progressive GRAMMAR

Curso gratuito en línea para aprender inglés GRATIS – PAST CONTINUOUS / PAST CONTINUOUS – USOS y ESTRUCTURA – LECCION 32 GRAMATICA (PreIntermedio)


Song: La grange (zztop)

In this post we are going to talk about the past continuous. We will look at the syntax and the use of this tense. We are also going to compare it to the past simple and see the differences.

Past Continuous / Past Progressive


Positive form

Subject + was/were + (-ing) + Complement


–          Michael was watching the World Cup  match.
–          They were working all night long.
–          Josh and Silvia were talking about getting married.

Negative form

Subject + wasn’t/weren’t + (-ing) + Complement


–          John wasn’t eating because he was feeling sick.
–          Jeff wasn’t watching TV.
–          My parents weren’t having a good time because it was very cold in Canada

Question Form

(Question Word) + was/were + Subject + (-ing) + Complement

–          What were you doing last night at around 8:00pm?
–          Was Jim doing his homework?
–          Were they sleeping all morning?


-The complete structure: (TABLE #1)

– Past continuous is very similar IN STRUCTURE to the Present Continuous tense. The only difference is that in the present continuous we use the verb to be in the present (am/is/are) but with the past continuous we use the verb to be in the past (was/were)

Compare (TABLE #2)

Present ContinuousPast Continuous
They are  writingThey were writing
Pedro isn’t eatingPedro wasn’t eating
Where is he staying?Where was he staying?

–          We do not use the auxiliary DID with the past continuous.


We use the past continuous to talk about an action that was in progress at a certain time in the past, an action at some point in the past between its beginning and end

Example: He was working in the garden at 7 o’clock this morning.

The past continuous is used to describe an action that we were “in the middle of” at a time in the past.
–          I was watching TV at 8:00pm. (I was “in the middle of watching TV” at 8:00)
–          Miguel was cooking at noon. (At that time, Miguel was “in the middle of cooking”)

It is important to remember this concept so that in our next lesson we can compare and contrast the past continuous with the past simple.



More Exercises:

Online quizzes:

Questions with past continuous (past progressive)

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18 Responses to “Past Continuous tense – Past Progressive GRAMMAR”

  1. KiraStifler says:

    xD jajaja me encanta cuando haces la voz de los estudiantes ‘Teacher mucho blablabla >_<' jajajaja 'Teacher no entiendo!!!' jajajaja

    ¡Excelentes lecciones!

  2. araceli says:

    quiero participar en esta clase

  3. kika says:

    hi, i am from USA and i want to say something to the girl that put “esto fue una mierda” es que tambien entiendo español. well the point is that you are a BIG STUPID}

  4. Ronald ALfredo says:

    La didactica es excelente; comprensible y facil de aprender. Gracias por facilitar el estudio

  5. jairo says:

    you are giving us a good teaching. congratulation

  6. Hey thanks for teacher training rooms to speak English very well I will always be that this will help me to work with U.S. executives and others.

  7. Juan carlos says:

    Tomorrow I have a global test this page is incredible

  8. cindy rodriguez says:

    in 2009, entering the sen to study accounting and finance, at the time was very nervous because I did not know anything but I like arto time that I learned many things.
    At this time I’m on applying all my knowledge practices which are of great value to the company, and would like to continue studying to become a great professional someday.

  9. Diana says:

    hello teacher
    I like

  10. susana says:

    hi teacher!
    I like very much your lesson. I have studied english at the school, but it is a litte forget. Now I can repeat. When do you compare past simple uns past continuous? we need more lessons!!
    Thanks a lot

  11. joana says:

    Hola teacher entonces past continuos se usa cuando una accion no finalizo osea cuando algo se queda a la mitad i was working yo estaba trabajando pero aun sigo trabajando mas o menos es asi

  12. Dashka says:

    tank you cool

  13. Liz Mora says:

    Really nice your class teacher and I love the song! sometimes we dont need a lot of ways to explain a topic (or a tense), Love your class.

  14. aldo says:

    excelent muy bien explicado

  15. miguel angel says:

    thanks, teacher.your class change me
    thanks again.

  16. henry hernando rojas patarroyo says:

    Hello teacher.

    Like always this is a wonderful lesson.

    Thank you very much

  17. edgar22 says:

    hi teacher i really like all your classes…
    me gustaria que pusiera una clase donde explique la forma
    comparativa y superlatva de los adverbios…=)
    y que pusiera en alguna de sus clases alguna cancion de queen
    como Great King Rat o Death On Two Legs……muchas gracias por todo…
    profe Carlos…thank you….

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