Past Continuous Tense

Verb shows the action in past continuous tense

In Past Continuous Tense, verb shows that the past action continued for some time.

Like continuous present tense, we can call continuous past tense as imperfect or progressive past tense.

In this sentence, the auxiliary verb ‘was /were’ is used with the present participle.

Use of auxiliary verb in past continuous tense

Use of auxiliary verb is according to the subject of sentence.

In this tense, we use the auxiliary verb in past form.

In sentence-

  • For subject ‘I’, we use auxiliary verb ‘was’ (past form of am).
  • If subject is ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’ or any third person with singular noun, we use auxiliary verb ‘was’ (past form of is).
  • We use auxiliary verb ‘were’ (past form of are) for the subject ‘we’, ‘you’, ‘they’ or any plural noun.
  • For subject ‘you’, we use ‘were’ for singular as well as plural noun.

We shall take an example with three persons.


Examples of Continuous Past Tense

PersonSingular NumberPlural Number
1stI was playing football.We were playing football.
2ndYou were playing football.You were playing football.
3rdHe was playing football.
She was playing football.
They were playing football.
It was playing football.

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