Past Continuous Tense

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Chemistry lab is a place where all the chemical experiments are done.

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In the lab, the chemicals are arranged according to their properties.

All the chemical bottles are properly labelled for easy identification.

Similarly, there are identifiers in English grammar, which tell us when an action is taking place.

These identifiers are known as tenses.

There are three tenses in English.

Let us try to understand what the past tense is.

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A past tense verb is used to indicate an action, event or condition that had happened in the past.

There are four types of past tense.

To begin with, let’s see what past continuous is.

We use past continuous tense to show that an action was going on at a specific moment in the past before it was interrupted.

To form a past continuous tense verb, we simply add was/were with the present participle of the verb used.

Past continuous tense is used for various uses. Let us look at them one by one.

The first use of the Past Continuous Tense is that it is used to narrate actions that were interrupted in the past.

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For example: I was watching TV when she called.

Here, the verb “was watching” tells us that the action was interrupted due to some reason in the past. So, it is in the past continuous tense.

Secondly, it is also used when we talk about events which were interrupted at a specific time in the past.

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For example: Last night at 7 PM, I was eating dinner.

Here the verb tells us that the speaker began eating dinner before 7 PM and he/she was still eating at 7 PM. So, it is in Past Continuous Tense.

Thirdly, this tense is used to narrate two actions which were happening at the same time in the past.

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For example: I was studying while he was making dinner.

Here, both the verbs help us in understanding that two actions were happening at the same time in the past. Therefore, they are in Past Continuous Tense.

We also use a past continuous tense verb with words like ‘always’ or ‘constantly’ to express an idea that something irritating happened often in the past.

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For example: He was constantly talking.

Here, the verb “was constantly talking” helps us identify that an irritating action was going on it the past. So, it is in the past continuous tense.

Time for a quick recap

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Tenses are identifiers which tell us when an action is going on.

There are three tenses in English: PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE.

There are four types of past tense: Simple Past, Past Continuous, Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous.

We use past continuous tense to show that an action was going on at a specific moment in the past before it was interrupted.

That's all Folks!!

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