Past continuous tense

How to form the past continuous in English

The past continuous tense is also sometimes called the past progressive.

Structure of past continuous
positive negative question
I / he / she was reading a book.
It was raining.
I / he / she wasn’t reading a book.
It wasn’t raining.
Was I / he / she reading a book?
Was it raining?
You / we / they were reading a book. You / we / they weren’t reading a book. Were you / we / they reading a book?
Past continuous – common mistakes
Common mistakes Correct version Why?
I waiting for him almost two hours. I was waiting for him almost two hours. To form the past continuous we use was/were + verb (-ing).
What did he doing when you saw him? What was he doing when you saw him? To form the past continuous we use was/were + verb (-ing).
We were playing tennis every morning. We played tennis every morning. We mostly use the past simple tense (we played) for repeated actions in the past.
They watched TV when I came. They were watching TV when I came. We use the past continuous when we want to say what was happening (what was in progress) at a particular time in the past.