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G.6.2 - Past Continuous

Past Continuous or Past Simple

Average: 4.2 (21 votes)

What can you remember about using past continuous to describe interrupted time? Here's a little refresher:

When you want to talk about two actions in the past, it is often the case that one is past continuous and the other past simple.

The long action is past continuous and the short one, or the one that interrupts it is past simple.

For example:

"I was walking to school when I heard a loud crash."

Past Continuous Review

Average: 3.3 (39 votes)

How long has it been since you reviewed the past continuous? Do you remember when to use it and how it is formed? Here's a reminder of this tense and some exercises to help you check your understanding. Good luck!

When do we use the past continuous?

The past continuous is used in a number of situations.

Past Simple Vs Past Continuous

Average: 3.6 (112 votes)

Here's a quick reminder of the rules of using past simple and past continuous together.

In this sentence there are two verbs:

I was watching television when he arrived.

The first action is a long action - it lasted for a period of time. We therefore use the past continuous.

The second action is a short action that has interrupted the first. So for this we need past simple!

Past Continuous

Average: 4 (42 votes)

waiting

'He was waiting for me when I got home.'

Why do we use the past continuous?

The past continuous (also known as the past progressive) is used to describe what we were doing a specific point in the past.

compare these two sentences: