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Past Continuous

1) Use the past to ‘set the scene’ of a story before describing what happened.

    ‘It was rainingI was walking in the park. Some kids were playing football nearby. Suddenly…’

2) Use the past continuous to talk about an action which happened for some time in the past and was then interrupted. Use the past simple tense to talk about the interruption.

    I was cooking dinner when suddenly there was a knock at the door.

3) Use the past continuous to talk about events that were in progress at a certain time.

    At 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon, I was driving home from work.

Note the difference in meaning:

When James got home, I cooked dinner:-  I started cooking AFTER he got home.
When James got home, I was cooking dinner: – I started cooking BEFORE he got home.


I was  


You were
He / She / It was
We / They were


I wasn’t  


You weren’t
He / She / It wasn’t
We / They weren’t


Was I  

verb+ing   ?

Were you
Was he / she / it
Were we / they

Spelling Rules:
If a verb ends in e, delete the e before you add –ing.
have   =>I was having lunch.

If a verb ends in one vowel and one consonant, double the consonant (except w and y).
get     =>He was just getting up.
play    =>We were playing.

Common mistakes
1) Some students remember the verb be but forget ‘ing’.
I was watch television.   =>I was watching television.
2) Some students make spelling mistakes.
I was studing.  =>I was studying.

We were eatting   =>We were eating.