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Past Continuous



The past continuous describes actions continuing in the past.


Graham was sleeping this morning.


Past continuous --

  • describes actions happening at a specific point in the past.
  • describes actions happening at the same time in the past.
  • describes actions that were happening when a second action (described using past simple) happened.
  • is not used with stative verbs, verbs with no action (stative verbs are: be, believe, belong, forget, have, hear, know, like, love, need, prefer, remember, see, seem, understand, or want).
  • has the structure was / were + verb -ing.
  • adds "not" between was / were and the verb + -ing to make a negative sentence.
  • uses was / were as auxiliary verbs to make questions.

Related Sections

-ing Spelling Rules
Past Simple
Present Continuous