Past Continuous Tense

Past Continuous Tense shows the action was in progress in the past time and has not been finished.

Form of verb
Present Participle form is used in Past Continuous Tense. This form is the one with –ing at the end. Present Participle shows that the verbal action is in progress and not yet completed. So this is appropriate form for Continuous Tenses.

  • Present Participle, 4th form (with all subjects)

Auxiliary (helping verb)
There are two auxiliaries (helping verbs) used in the Past Continuous Tense. With different subjects different auxiliaries are used. Details are as under.

  • Was (with I, he, she, it and singular noun)
  • Were (with you, they, we and plural noun)

When a sentence is converted into negative then not is used with the auxiliaries. You can use the short form too in which not is used with auxiliary as one word. Below are some examples to make you understand.

  • Was not (wasn’t in short)
  • Were not (weren’t in short)

While making interrogative the auxiliaries are used at the beginning of sentence.

  • Was / were used at the beginning of the sentence.

Examples of was

  1. I was working for this institution. (Positive sentence)
  2. I was not getting well. (Negative sentence)
  3. Was I doing it properly? (Interrogative sentence)

Examples of were

  1. They were doing well. (positive sentence)
  2. We were not entertaining the guests. (Negative sentence)
  3. Were they playing bad? (Interrogative sentence)