Easy Learning English

The past continuous tense - Easy Learning Grammar

Typical forms of this tense are as shown in:
I was winning.but not I was liking it.
She was winning. 
They were winning. 
Was I winning?
Was she winning?
Were you winning?
I was not winningbut not I was not liking it.
We were not winning. 
They weren’t winning. 
Some main verbs are not normally used in the continuous in standard British English, though they may be used this way in other varieties of English. These are generally verbs about states rather than feelings.We use the past continuous tense in these ways:
  • with a time expression, such as at 6p.m. yesterday, to talk about an action that began before that time and finished after it. The exact length of time the action took is not important.
  • What were you doing at eight o’clock last night? I was standing at the bus stop.
  • to talk about an interrupted action. Note that for the event that interrupts the action, we use the past simple tense.
  • We were all sitting in our places when the bell rang.
  • to talk about a longer action that was already taking place when a short action happened.
  • While I was waiting for the bus I dropped my purse.
  • to describe a scene in the past, especially in a story.
  • It was a dreadful morning. The snow was still falling, the wind was blowing, and the cars were skidding on the icy roads.

See related content

English Dictionary
English Dictionary
NEW from Collins!
NEW from Collins!
English Word Lists
English Word Lists
COBUILD Grammar Patterns
COBUILD Grammar Patterns
Word Lover's Blog
Word Lover's Blog
Online Scrabble Checker
Online Scrabble Checker
The Paul Noble Method
The Paul Noble Method
Create an account and sign in to access this FREE content
Register now or login in to access