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?|
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:
|I was not winning||but not I was not liking it.|
|We were not winning.|| |
|They weren’t winning.|| |
- 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.