Past Continuous

The past continuous is formed by was / were + -ing form

I was playing       You were playing       He/she was playing       We were playing       They were playing

Past Continuous use

 Before you learn about the use of the past continuous, beware that there are some verbs which cannot be used in any of the continuous tenses.  Some verbs will sound strange to you in the continuous form, and it is a good idea to learn what these verbs are: Verbs that Cannot be Used in the Continuous Tenses

 The past continuous is used to talk about past events which continued for some time:

 ’I was living in England for 15 years, then I moved to the USA’

 ’I was trying to call you all day yesterday but you didn’t answer’

We were talking about you earlier’

The past continuous is also used to set the scene in a story, giving background information on everything that was already happening when the story started:

‘Snow was falling and the wind was blowing. Everybody wasfsleeping peacefully in the house.  Suddenly, John woke up from his dream….’

In the same way, the past continuous can also be used to talk about events which were in progress and were then interrupted:

‘I was reading quietly in bed when I heard a noise from downstairs’

For more information about all these situations with the past continuous click on the link below:

Narrative Tenses