Language Tip: Past Progressive (Continuous) Tense
We were dancing all night.
It was snowing all day on Saturday.
They were not (weren’t) learning enough.
She was not (wasn’t) playing well.
Was she studying at 5 p.m. yesterday?
Were they talking when you came in?
• to describe an action in the past which was in progress some time. The time is usually expressed by a time term.
I was preparing for my exam all afternoon.
• to describe actions which were in progress at the same time in the past.
While he was reading the newspaper she was cooking lunch.
• to describe an action which happened at one point-moment in the past.
At ten we were having breakfast.
• to express one of the two actions while one action is described by the simple past tense ( the shorter one).
She was reading a book when I entered the room.
• to express a background to the main action when we describe (write or narrate) action in the past.
I was walking down our street when I noticed two strange men. The men got on a bus and went away.
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