Past continuous

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Past Continuous
FORM
[was/were + present participle]
Examples:
• You were studying when she called.
• Were you studying when she called?
• You were not studying when she called.
CompleteList of Past Continuous Forms
USE 1 Interrupted Action in the Past

Use the Past Continuous to indicate that a longer action in the past was interrupted. The interruption is usually a shorteraction in the Simple Past. Remember this can be a real interruption or just an interruption in time.
Examples:
• I was watching TV when she called.
• When the phone rang, she was writing a letter.
•While we were having the picnic, it started to rain.
• What were you doing when the earthquake started?
• I was listening to my iPod, so I didn't hear the fire alarm.
• You were not listening tome when I told you to turn the oven off.
• While John was sleeping last night, someone stole his car.
• Sammy was waiting for us when we got off the plane.
• While I was writing the email, thecomputer suddenly went off.
• A: What were you doing when you broke your leg?
B: I was snowboarding.
USE 2 Specific Time as an Interruption

In USE 1, described above, the Past Continuous isinterrupted by a shorter action in the Simple Past. However, you can also use a specific time as an interruption.
Examples:
• Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.
• At midnight, we were stilldriving through the desert.
• Yesterday at this time, I was sitting at my desk at work.
IMPORTANT
In the Simple Past, a specific time is used to show when an action began or finished. In the PastContinuous, a specific time only interrupts the action.
Examples:
• Last night at 6 PM, I ate dinner.
I STARTED EATING AT 6 PM.
• Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.
I STARTED EARLIER; ANDAT 6 PM, I WAS IN THE PROCESS OF EATING DINNER.
USE 3 Parallel Actions

When you use the Past Continuous with two actions in the same sentence, it expresses the idea that both actions were...
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