Past Continuous

Lesson 14. Video lesson on Past Continuous tense, and a comparison to Past Simple tense. The practice exercises look at the tense in Positive, Question and Negative forms.

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  Video Exercise 1

Past Simple - Exercise 2  PDF Exercise 2

Past Continuous - Revision PDF  PDF Handout

Lesson transcript

In this lesson we're going to look at Past Continuous tense.

Examples of Past Continuous are: 'I was waiting', 'it was raining' and 'we were living'; and we make Past Continuous tense with 'was' or 'were' plus the verb, plus '…ing'.

So let's start with some example situations and if <this> is now and <this> is the past, then Past Continuous looks like <this>.

It's a continuous action which finished in the past.

Let's look at some example sentences.

Number 1: 'I saw her while I was having lunch'

<This> would be 'was having' and 'I saw'  would look like <this>.

In other words we have Past Simple –  'I saw' in the middle of Past Continuous – 'was having'.

Next sentence – 'he phoned as I was walking to work'.

So again, if <this> is 'he phoned' – in the Past Simple – then <this> is 'was walking' – the Past Continuous action – continuous action which finished in the past.

Finally, sentence 3: 'It arrived (a letter for example) while we were talking.'

So <this> is 'it arrived' – Past Simple – and 'were talking' is <this> – Past  Continuous.

So that's how we use Past Continuous,  and as you can see it's very common that we use it with Past Simple.

Let's now look at the verb conjugations and we're going to look at the verb: 'to live' in the positive, in the question and the negative forms.

So, 'to live', positive form:
– I / he / she / it …was living.
– You / we / they …were living

Question form now, and this is:
– Was I / he / she / it …living
And here we have:
– Were you / we / they …living.

And finally the negative form:
– I / he / she / it …was not living
– You / we / they …were not living

And in the informal we would say:
– I / he / she it …wasn't living
– You / we / they …weren't living

So those are the conjugations, and that's the end of this lesson.

Here is the PDF with the verb conjugations and there are some example sentences at the end <here>.

Join me in Part 3 for the practice exercises and in the next lesson we'll be looking at the super-important Present Perfect tense.

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Nouns: Countables, Uncountables (1)
Articles (2)
(3) | (Zero Article 4) | The: Special Uses (5)
There is, there are (6)
Quantity: Some, Any (7) | Many, Much, A lot of (8) | A few, a little (9)
Prepositions of time: In, On, At (10)
The Present: Present Simple (11) | Present Continuous (12)
The Past: Past Simple (13) | Past Continuous (14) | Present Perfect (15)
Irregular Verbs (16)
The Future: Future Simple (17) | Future Plans (18)
Phrasal Verbs (19) (20)

     Countable and uncountable nouns 

     Countable and Uncountable
     Learn the two key rules

     "The": Special Uses
      "The": Special Uses
      10 special uses of 'the' here

     Phrasal Verbs - Part 1 

     Phrasal Verbs Part 1
     Each example with a picture

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