Past Continuous Tense in English

What is past continuous tense?

The past continuous tense is also known as the past progressive tense. It is used to describe the activities that are happening in the past.


  • They were talking on the phone.
  • She was walking to the shop.
  • He was typing his essay on the computer.
  • I was studying for my final exam all night long.
  • The baby was crying because she was hungry.

Past Continuous Tense

past continuous tense

Past Continuous Tense Formula

Subject + was/were + (verb+ing) + object

Type of
Positive[Subject + was/were + Ving + object]He was driving his car slowly.
Negative[Subject + was/were + not + Ving + object]He wasn’t driving his car slowly.
Question[was/were + subject + Ving + object + ?]Was he driving his car slowly?
Wh-Questions[Wh + was/were + subject + Ving + object + ?]Where was he driving his car?

Past Continuous Tense Examples

She was reading.She wasn’t reading.Was she reading?
I were playing chess.I wasn’t playing chess.Was I playing chess?
My mom was baking a cake.My mom wasn’t baking a cake.Was my mom baking a cake?
He was walking in the garden.He wasn’t waking in the garden.Was he waking in the garden?
The children were playing.The children weren’t playing.Were the children playing?

Affirmative Sentences in Past Continuous Tense

  1. She was studying for her exams.
  2. He was typing an email.
  3. He was writing a story.
  4. She was watering the plants.
  5. I was singing in English.
  6. We were hiking in the mountains.
  7. I was eating ice cream.
  8. They were surfing the internet.
  9. She was shopping for clothes.
  10. I was drinking coffee slowly.
  11. We were studying for finals.
  12. He was grooming his dog.
  13. He was making a smoothie.
  14. They were watching a movie.
  15. He was cooking dinner.
  16. They were running on the beach.
  17. She was laughing at his jokes.
  18. The kids were playing soccer.
  19. The teacher was explaining the lesson.
  20. The baby was crying because she was hungry.

Negative Sentences in Past Continuous Tense

  1. He wasn’t driving too fast.
  2. I wasn’t playing soccer yesterday.
  3. She wasn’t sleeping at midnight.
  4. He wasn’t taking responsibility.
  5. She wasn’t sharing her ideas.
  6. We weren’t staying on track.
  7. She wasn’t being flexible.
  8. We weren’t learning from our mistakes.
  9. I wasn’t using my phone.
  10. I wasn’t smoking cigarettes.
  11. He wasn’t spending money wisely.
  12. We weren’t making any progress.
  13. She wasn’t taking a break.
  14. They weren’t eating dinner yet.
  15. She wasn’t dancing at all.
  16. I wasn’t playing the piano.
  17. I wasn’t playing any sports.
  18. We weren’t looking for anyone.
  19. We weren’t working on anything.
  20. She wasn’t cooking anything special.

Interrogative Sentences in Past Continuous Tense

  1. Were we studying for exams?
  2. Was she feeling sick yesterday?
  3. Were they practicing yoga?
  4. Was I having a good time?
  5. Was she keeping her promise?
  6. Was she accepting the offer?
  7. Was he appreciating what he had?
  8. Were they eating breakfast together?
  9. Was I waiting for someone?
  10. Was he trying to solve the problem?
  11. Were we driving through traffic?
  12. Was he showing any emotion?
  13. Was he putting in enough effort?
  14. Was she showing any interest?
  15. Was he spending money wisely?
  16. Was she trying her best?
  17. Was I making any noise?
  18. Was he admitting his mistakes?
  19. Was she taking a shower?
  20. Was she playing tennis with him?

Past Continuous Tense Exercises

  1. _______ she ________ the party last night? (enjoy)
  2. They ___________ care of their health. (not, take)
  3. They ____________ basketball outside. (play)
  4. They _________________ good hygiene. (practice)
  5. He __________________ his computer. (program)
  6. _____ he ___________ in enough effort? (put)
  7. They _____________ a sandcastle. (build)
  8. I _______________ to music while I was getting ready for work. (listen)
  9. She ______________ her feelings? (express)
  10. ______ he ___________ others’ boundaries? (respect)


  1. Was she enjoying the party last night? (enjoy)
  2. They weren’t taking care of their health. (not, take)
  3. They were playing basketball outside. (play)
  4. They weren’t practicing good hygiene. (practice)
  5. He was programming his computer. (program)
  6. Was he putting in enough effort? (put)
  7. They were building a sandcastle. (build)
  8. I was listening to music while I was getting ready for work. (listen)
  9. She was expressing her feelings? (express)
  10. Was he respecting others’ boundaries? (respect)
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