Past Continuous Tense: Lesson 1

Meaning: Actions with continuity in the past.

For example, let’s say we played football between 6:00 and 7:00 yesterday. The expression for this is:

I was playing football with my friends between 6:00 and 7:00.

Yesterday, I was sitting by the window in class.

Here, there is a sense of continuity in the action.

What were you doing around 10:00 last night?

I was sleeping because I was very tired.

“While” and “When”

When combined with another action, we can use “While” and “When.”

While I was waiting for the bus, I saw one of my old friends.

1st action: I was waiting for the bus

2nd action: I saw my old friend

When combined with “While,” it becomes “I saw an old friend while waiting for the bus.”


When Tony phoned me yesterday, I was having my dinner.

I was having dinner when Tony called me.

Sometimes, we can use “-ing” in both situations.

While I was doing my homework, my sister was having her lunch.

A burglar was trying to open the front door at the same time we were watching television.

While we were watching TV, a burglar was trying to open the front door.

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