Past Progressive / Continuous Tense

The Past progressive /continuous tense describes the actions continue in the pas. In this article, we’ll tell you when to use and form the Past Progressive or Past Continuous tense, and what signal words you can use to better understand the tense.

Usage of Past Progressive tense:

The Past Continuous tense can be used in a variety of situations.

  1. Act in the past with a specific time
    I was watching TV yesterday.
  2. Several actions simultaneously, without mutual interference
    Hey was sitting in home, while Salma was cooking .

Signal words in the Past continuous Tense:

In many English tenses there are signal words. With their help one can recognize in which time a statement or question is formulated. The Past continuous tense signal words:

  • as long as
  • while

Structure of the Past Continuous (Progressive) Tense:

The Past Continuous Tense is formed with a form of ” be ” ( was, were ), the infinitive (basic form of the verb) with ” ing “. Phrases in the Past Progressive can be formulated as an affirmative or negative sentence or as a question. Negative sentences offer the possibility that they can be used in writing and orally in a short form.

what, were + infinitive + ” ing ”

Structure of the Past Continuous Tense:


Affirmative statement in the Past Continuous tense:

  • I was watching TV.
  • We were watching TV.
  • I was watching TV.
  • He was watching TV.
  • She was watching TV.

Negative statement in the Past Continuous tense:

past perfect progressive tense

Past Progressive / Continuous Tense Exercise:

[streamquiz id=”13″]