Past Continuous Tense: Lesson and Practice Questions

Past Continuous Tense: Usage, Structure and Examples

  • Usage:

    • Used for actions that were ongoing at a specific point in the past.
  • Structure:

    • Affirmative: Subject + was/were + present participle (verb + -ing) (e.g., He was studying).
    • Negative: Subject + was/were + not + present participle (e.g., We were not playing).
    • Interrogative: Was/Were + subject + present participle? (e.g., Were they sleeping?).
  • Examples:

    • While I was cooking, he was cleaning.
    • They weren’t listening to the music.
    • Were you working yesterday?

Past Continuous Tense: Practice Questions


  1. She ____________ (sing) a song when I entered the room.

    a. sang
    b. was singing
    c. sings

  2. We ____________ (work) on the project all night.

    a. worked
    b. work
    c. were working

  3. He ____________ (read) a book while waiting for the train.

    a. reads
    b. was reading
    c. read

  4. They ____________ (play) basketball when it started raining.

    a. plays
    b. were playing
    c. played

  5. I ____________ (cook) dinner for my family at 7 PM yesterday.

    a. cook
    b. was cooking
    c. cooked

Answers: (Affirmative)

1. B, 2. C , 3. B 4. B, 5. B


  1. She ____________ (not/study) when the power went out.

    a. did not study
    b. was not studying
    c. not studying

  2. We ____________ (not/watch) TV at that time.

    a. did not watch
    b. not watching
    c. were not watching

  3. He ____________ (not/sleep) when the phone rang.

    a. did not sleep
    b. was not sleeping
    c. not sleeping

  4. They ____________ (not/dance) at the party last night.

    a. did not dance
    b. not dancing
    c. were not dancing

  5. I ____________ (not/work) on the project during the weekend.

    a. did not work
    b. not working
    c. was not working

Answers: (Negative)

1. B, 2. C, 3. B, 4. C, 5. C


  1. __________ she ____________ (paint) when you called her?


    a. Did / paint
    b. Was / painting
    c. Is / painting

  2. __________ you ____________ (listen) to music at that time?


    a. Were / listening
    b. Did / listen
    c. Are / listening

  3. What ____________ they ____________ (do) when the accident happened?

    a. Do / do
    b. Were / doing
    c. Did / do

  4. __________ he ____________ (play) the piano when you arrived?

    a. Did / play
    b. Is / playing
    c. Was / playing

  5. __________ we ____________ (swim) in the lake at that moment?


    a. Did / swim
    b. Were / swimming
    c. Are / swimming

Answers: (Interrogative)

1. B, 2. A, 3. B, 4. C, 5. B

Free writing check service