How to use Past Continuous tense


The past continuous tense in English is used quite often, especially when telling stories.

1 A continuous action in the past which is interrupted by another action or a time:

I was taking a bath when the telephone rang.
At three o’clock, I was working.

2 Background information, to give atmosphere to a story:

It was a beautiful day. The birds were singing, the sun was shining and in the cafes people were laughing and chatting.

3 An annoying and repeated action in the past, usually with ‘always’:

He was always leaving the tap running.
(In the same way as the Present Continuous)

4 For two actions which happened at the same time in the past:

I was watching TV and he was reading.

NB:Remember you can’t use this tense or any continuous tense with stative verbs.

Source: Perfect English Grammar

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