Past Continuous

ReferencesEastwood, J. (1994). Oxford Guide to English Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Past Continuous by Mind Map: Past Continuous

1. Negative Form

1.1. She wasn't doing anything

1.2. My cat wasn't sleeping anymore

1.3. Her kids weren't doing their homework

2. Form

2.1. Past of be + active participle

2.2. I was singing in the shower

2.3. My cat was sleeping

2.4. They were dancing around

3. Use

3.1. Action over a past period

3.1.1. Something that we were in the middle of

3.1.1.1. It was almost midnight and I was walking home

3.2. Compare the present continuous and past continuous

3.2.1. I am walking home

3.2.1.1. The person is in the middle of their journey

3.2.2. I was walking home

3.2.2.1. The person was in the middle of their journey

3.3. An action over a whole period

3.3.1. My cat was sleeping from 9 to 9!

3.3.2. We were playing Ouija all night.

3.4. The period of a past continuous action can include a clock time

3.4.1. At a quarter to 10 I was still sleeping

3.4.2. It can also include another action

3.4.2.1. I was showering when I heard the thunders

3.5. For repeated actions which are temporary, only for a period

3.5.1. I was waiting for the bus this morning

3.6. Past arrangement

3.6.1. I was planning with them for our next PAL class

3.7. With the continuous, always means 'very often' or 'too often'

3.7.1. Remember our grammar teacher? She was always teaching us sign language at the beginning of every class! Best class ever!

4. Questions

4.1. Was I doing crazy stuff while being drunk?

4.2. Weren't they doing their homework?

4.3. Were you dancing yesterday?