|I was talking||I wasn’t talking||Was I talking?|
|You were talking||You weren’t talking||Were you talking?|
|She was talking||He wasn’t talking||Was she talking?|
|We were talking||We weren’t talking||Were we talking?|
|They were talking||They weren’t talking||Were they talking?|
The Past Progressive
We use the past continuous to talk about past events which went on for a period of time.
We use it when we want to emphasize the continuing process of an activity or the period of that activity. (If we just want to talk about the past event as a simple fact, we use the past simple.)
- While I was driving home, Peter was trying desperately to contact me.
- Were you expecting any visitors?
- Sorry, were you sleeping?
- I was just making some coffee.
- I was thinking about him last night.
- In the 1990s few people were using mobile phones.
A background action
We often use it to describe a “background action” when something else happened.
- I was walking in the street when I suddenly fell over.
- She was talking to me on the phone and it suddenly went dead.
- They were still waiting for the plane when I spoke to them.
- The company was declining rapidly before he took charge.
- We were just talking about it before you arrived.
- I was making a presentation in front of 500 people when the microphone stopped working.
How do we use past continuous?
We use it to emphasise that an action in the past was continuing.
I was thinking about you.
We were eating lunch.
How do we use past simple and past continuous?
We contrast a background in the past with a sudden event.
I was driving when I hit another car.
She was speaking when the phone rang.
How do you write a past continuous question?
Were you singing?
Was she dancing?
Were they talking?
What were they doing?