Past Continuous or Past Progressive


Objectives of today’s lesson:

In this lesson, Learn English with Julia presents to you “Past Continuous”, in order for you to:

  • learn through past continuous examples
  • complete past continuous exercises
  • understand the past continuous structure
  • review the past continuous form
  • understand the differences between past continuous and past simple


Video Script:

Hello and welcome to the video on the past continuous, also known as the past progressive.

As you can see the forms appear here.

Always when using this tense we need two components.

We need the auxiliary “to be” in the simple past, followed by the present participle or “-ing form” of our verb.

Now in the positive sentence or positive form, we just use the subject, the auxiliary and the “-ing form”

I was learning.

There is no contracted form here.

In the negative form there is a contracted form.

We can either go for “I was not learning” (the complete form) or:

the contracted form “I wasn’t learning” and so on.

For questions, if they’re positive, we only have one option:

Was I learning?

And if it’s a negative question, we have two options:

1/ Was I not learning?

2/ or: Wasn’t I learning?

Now when to use this tense?

We use the past continuous for actions that take place at a certain time in the past or for actions that take place at the same time in the past or for an action that has been interrupted by another action.

Some signal words you need to know:

when, while, whilst, as long as, and many more.

They work very well with this tense.

And finally the hints for today’s class:

Don’t forget to use the subject if you’re a learner or to highlight how important the subject is if you’re a teacher.

Don’t forget the auxiliary.

And finally if you haven’t had time yet please watch the video on the spelling of the present participle.

You’ll learn a lot about spelling but also phonetics.


Grammar Quiz:


Keywords listed in English:

  • past continuous or past progressive
  • present participle or -ing form
  • auxiliary verb

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