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Past Continuous Forms

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Past Continuous Forms

Positive Negative Question
  • I was singing.
  • You were singing.
  • We were singing.
  • They were singing.
  • He was singing.
  • She was singing.
  • It was singing.
  • I was not singing.
  • You were not singing.
  • We were not singing.
  • They were not singing.
  • He was not singing.
  • She was not singing.
  • It was not singing.
  • Was I singing?
  • Were you singing?
  • Were we singing?
  • Were they singing?
  • Was he singing?
  • Was she singing?
  • Was it singing?
Engleza

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.

Complete List 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 shorter action 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 to me 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, the computer 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 is interrupted 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 still driving 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 Past Continuous, 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; and at 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 happening at the same time. The actions are parallel.

Examples:

  • I was studying while he was making dinner.
  • While Ellen was reading, Tim was watching television.
  • Were you listening while he was talking?
  • I wasn’t paying attention while I was writing the letter, so I made several mistakes.
  • What were you doing while you were waiting?
  • Thomas wasn’t working, and I wasn’t working either.
  • They were eating dinner, discussing their plans, and having a good time.

USE 4 Atmosphere

In English, we often use a series of parallel actions to describe the atmosphere at a particular time in the past.

Example:

  • When I walked into the office, several people were busily typing, some were talking on the phones, the boss was yelling directions, and customers were waiting to be helped. One customer was yelling at a secretary and waving his hands. Others were complaining to each other about the bad service.

USE 5 Repetition and Irritation with “Always”

 

The Past Continuous with words such as “always” or “constantly” expresses the idea that something irritating or shocking often happened in the past. The concept is very similar to the expression “used to” but with negative emotion. Remember to put the words “always” or “constantly” between “be” and “verb+ing.”

Examples:

  • She was always coming to class late.
  • He was constantly talking. He annoyed everyone.
  • I didn’t like them because they were always complaining.

While vs. When

Clauses are groups of words which have meaning, but are often not complete sentences. Some clauses begin with the word “when” such as “when she called” or “when it bit me.” Other clauses begin with “while” such as “while she was sleeping” and “while he was surfing.” When you talk about things in the past, “when” is most often followed by the verb tense Simple Past, whereas “while” is usually followed by Past Continuous. “While” expresses the idea of “during that time.” Study the examples below. They have similar meanings, but they emphasize different parts of the sentence.

Examples:

  • I was studying when she called.
  • While I was studying, she called.

REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs / Mixed Verbs

It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings for Mixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Past Continuous with these verbs, you must use Simple Past.

Examples:

  • Jane was being at my house when you arrived. Not Correct
  • Jane was at my house when you arrived. Correct

ADVERB PLACEMENT

The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.

Examples:

  • You were just studying when she called.
  • Were you just studying when she called?

ACTIVE / PASSIVE

Examples:

  • The salesman was helping the customer when the thief came into the store. Active
  • The customer was being helped by the salesman when the thief came into the store. Passive

More About Active / Passive Forms

Engleza

Irregular Verb Dictionary

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Flashcards | Exercises | About Dictionary

A
Infinitive Simple Past Past Participle
arise arose arisen
awake awakened / awoke awakened / awoken
B
backslide backslid backslidden / backslid
be was, were been
bear bore born / borne
beat beat beaten / beat
become became become
begin began begun
bend bent bent
bet bet / betted[?] bet / betted [?]
bid (farewell) bid / bade bidden
bid (offer amount) bid bid
bind bound bound
bite bit bitten
bleed bled bled
blow blew blown
break broke broken
breed bred bred
bring brought brought
broadcast broadcast / broadcasted broadcast / broadcasted
browbeat browbeat browbeaten / browbeat
build built built
burn burned / burnt [?] burned / burnt [?]
burst burst burst
bust busted / bust busted / bust
buy bought bought
C
cast cast cast
catch caught caught
choose chose chosen
cling clung clung
clothe clothed / clad [?] clothed / clad [?]
come came come
cost cost cost
creep crept crept
crossbreed crossbred crossbred
cut cut cut
D
daydream daydreamed / daydreamt [?] daydreamed / daydreamt [?]
deal dealt dealt
dig dug dug
disprove disproved disproved / disproven
dive (jump head-first) dove / dived dived
dive (scuba diving) dived / dove dived
do did done
draw drew drawn
dream dreamed / dreamt [?] dreamed / dreamt [?]
drink drank drunk
drive drove driven
dwell dwelt / dwelled [?] dwelt / dwelled [?]
E
eat ate eaten
F
fall fell fallen
feed fed fed
feel felt felt
fight fought fought
find found found
fit (tailor, change size) fitted / fit [?] fitted / fit [?]
fit (be right size) fit / fitted[?] fit / fitted [?]
flee fled fled
fling flung flung
fly flew flown
forbid forbade forbidden
forecast forecast forecast
forego (also forgo) forewent foregone
foresee foresaw foreseen
foretell foretold foretold
forget forgot forgotten / forgot [?]
forgive forgave forgiven
forsake forsook forsaken
freeze froze frozen
frostbite frostbit frostbitten
G
get got gotten / got [?]
give gave given
go went gone
grind ground ground
grow grew grown
H
hand-feed hand-fed hand-fed
handwrite handwrote handwritten
hang hung hung
have had had
hear heard heard
hew hewed hewn / hewed
hide hid hidden
hit hit hit
hold held held
hurt hurt hurt
I
inbreed inbred inbred
inlay inlaid inlaid
input input / inputted input / inputted
interbreed interbred interbred
interweave interwove / interweaved interwoven / interweaved
interwind interwound interwound
J
jerry-build jerry-built jerry-built
K
keep kept kept
kneel knelt / kneeled knelt / kneeled
knit knitted / knit knitted / knit
know knew known
L
lay laid laid
lead led led
lean leaned / leant [?] leaned / leant [?]
leap leaped / leapt [?] leaped / leapt [?]
learn learned / learnt [?] learned / learnt [?]
leave left left
lend lent lent
let let let
lie lay lain
lie (not tell truth) REGULAR lied lied
light lit / lighted lit / lighted
lip-read lip-read lip-read
lose lost lost
M
make made made
mean meant meant
meet met met
miscast miscast miscast
misdeal misdealt misdealt
misdo misdid misdone
mishear misheard misheard
mislay mislaid mislaid
mislead misled misled
mislearn mislearned / mislearnt [?] mislearned / mislearnt [?]
misread misread misread
misset misset misset
misspeak misspoke misspoken
misspell misspelled / misspelt [?] misspelled / misspelt [?]
misspend misspent misspent
mistake mistook mistaken
misteach mistaught mistaught
misunderstand misunderstood misunderstood
miswrite miswrote miswritten
mow mowed mowed / mown
N
No irregular verbs beginning with “N.”
O
offset offset offset
outbid outbid outbid
outbreed outbred outbred
outdo outdid outdone
outdraw outdrew outdrawn
outdrink outdrank outdrunk
outdrive outdrove outdriven
outfight outfought outfought
outfly outflew outflown
outgrow outgrew outgrown
outleap outleaped / outleapt [?] outleaped / outleapt [?]
outlie (not tell truth) REGULAR outlied outlied
outride outrode outridden
outrun outran outrun
outsell outsold outsold
outshine outshined / outshone [?] outshined / outshone [?]
outshoot outshot outshot
outsing outsang outsung
outsit outsat outsat
outsleep outslept outslept
outsmell outsmelled / outsmelt [?] outsmelled / outsmelt [?]
outspeak outspoke outspoken
outspeed outsped outsped
outspend outspent outspent
outswear outswore outsworn
outswim outswam outswum
outthink outthought outthought
outthrow outthrew outthrown
outwrite outwrote outwritten
overbid overbid overbid
overbreed overbred overbred
overbuild overbuilt overbuilt
overbuy overbought overbought
overcome overcame overcome
overdo overdid overdone
overdraw overdrew overdrawn
overdrink overdrank overdrunk
overeat overate overeaten
overfeed overfed overfed
overhang overhung overhung
overhear overheard overheard
overlay overlaid overlaid
overpay overpaid overpaid
override overrode overridden
overrun overran overrun
oversee oversaw overseen
oversell oversold oversold
oversew oversewed oversewn / oversewed
overshoot overshot overshot
oversleep overslept overslept
overspeak overspoke overspoken
overspend overspent overspent
overspill overspilled / overspilt [?] overspilled / overspilt [?]
overtake overtook overtaken
overthink overthought overthought
overthrow overthrew overthrown
overwind overwound overwound
overwrite overwrote overwritten
P
partake partook partaken
pay paid paid
plead pleaded / pled pleaded / pled
prebuild prebuilt prebuilt
predo predid predone
premake premade premade
prepay prepaid prepaid
presell presold presold
preset preset preset
preshrink preshrank preshrunk
proofread proofread proofread
prove proved proven / proved
put put put
Q
quick-freeze quick-froze quick-frozen
quit quit / quitted [?] quit / quitted [?]
R
read read (sounds like “red”) read (sounds like “red”)
reawake reawoke reawaken
rebid rebid rebid
rebind rebound rebound
rebroadcast rebroadcast / rebroadcasted rebroadcast / rebroadcasted
rebuild rebuilt rebuilt
recast recast recast
recut recut recut
redeal redealt redealt
redo redid redone
redraw redrew redrawn
refit (replace parts) refit / refitted [?] refit / refitted [?]
refit (retailor) refitted / refit [?] refitted / refit [?]
regrind reground reground
regrow regrew regrown
rehang rehung rehung
rehear reheard reheard
reknit reknitted / reknit reknitted / reknit
relay (for example tiles) relaid relaid
relay (pass along) REGULAR relayed relayed
relearn relearned / relearnt [?] relearned / relearnt [?]
relight relit / relighted relit / relighted
remake remade remade
repay repaid repaid
reread reread reread
rerun reran rerun
resell resold resold
resend resent resent
reset reset reset
resew resewed resewn / resewed
retake retook retaken
reteach retaught retaught
retear retore retorn
retell retold retold
rethink rethought rethought
retread retread retread
retrofit retrofitted / retrofit [?] retrofitted / retrofit [?]
rewake rewoke / rewaked rewaken / rewaked
rewear rewore reworn
reweave rewove / reweaved rewoven / reweaved
rewed rewed / rewedded rewed / rewedded
rewet rewet / rewetted [?] rewet / rewetted [?]
rewin rewon rewon
rewind rewound rewound
rewrite rewrote rewritten
rid rid rid
ride rode ridden
ring rang rung
rise rose risen
roughcast roughcast roughcast
run ran run
S
sand-cast sand-cast sand-cast
saw sawed sawed / sawn
say said said
see saw seen
seek sought sought
sell sold sold
send sent sent
set set set
sew sewed sewn / sewed
shake shook shaken
shave shaved shaved / shaven
shear sheared sheared / shorn
shed shed shed
shine shined / shone [?] shined / shone [?]
shit shit / shat / shitted shit/ shat / shitted
shoot shot shot
show showed shown / showed
shrink shrank / shrunk shrunk
shut shut shut
sight-read sight-read sight-read
sing sang sung
sink sank / sunk sunk
sit sat sat
slay (kill) slew / slayed slain / slayed
slay (amuse) REGULAR slayed slayed
sleep slept slept
slide slid slid
sling slung slung
slink slinked / slunk slinked / slunk
slit slit slit
smell smelled / smelt [?] smelled / smelt [?]
sneak sneaked / snuck sneaked / snuck
sow sowed sown / sowed
speak spoke spoken
speed sped / speeded sped / speeded
spell spelled / spelt [?] spelled / spelt [?]
spend spent spent
spill spilled / spilt [?] spilled / spilt [?]
spin spun spun
spit spit / spat spit / spat
split split split
spoil spoiled / spoilt [?] spoiled / spoilt [?]
spoon-feed spoon-fed spoon-fed
spread spread spread
spring sprang / sprung sprung
stand stood stood
steal stole stolen
stick stuck stuck
sting stung stung
stink stunk / stank stunk
strew strewed strewn / strewed
stride strode stridden
strike (delete) struck stricken
strike (hit) struck struck / stricken
string strung strung
strive strove / strived striven / strived
sublet sublet sublet
sunburn sunburned / sunburnt [?] sunburned / sunburnt [?]
swear swore sworn
sweat sweat / sweated sweat / sweated
sweep swept swept
swell swelled swollen / swelled
swim swam swum
swing swung swung
T
take took taken
teach taught taught
tear tore torn
telecast telecast telecast
tell told told
test-drive test-drove test-driven
test-fly test-flew test-flown
think thought thought
throw threw thrown
thrust thrust thrust
tread trod trodden / trod
typecast typecast typecast
typeset typeset typeset
typewrite typewrote typewritten
U
unbend unbent unbent
unbind unbound unbound
unclothe unclothed / unclad [?] unclothed / unclad [?]
underbid underbid underbid
undercut undercut undercut
underfeed underfed underfed
undergo underwent undergone
underlie underlay underlain
undersell undersold undersold
underspend underspent underspent
understand understood understood
undertake undertook undertaken
underwrite underwrote underwritten
undo undid undone
unfreeze unfroze unfrozen
unhang unhung unhung
unhide unhid unhidden
unknit unknitted / unknit unknitted / unknit
unlearn unlearned / unlearnt [?] unlearned / unlearnt [?]
unsew unsewed unsewn / unsewed
unsling unslung unslung
unspin unspun unspun
unstick unstuck unstuck
unstring unstrung unstrung
unweave unwove / unweaved unwoven / unweaved
unwind unwound unwound
uphold upheld upheld
upset upset upset
V
No commonly used irregular verbs beginning with “V.”
To view our extended dictionary including rare and antiquated forms, Click Here.
W
wake woke / waked woken / waked
waylay waylaid waylaid
wear wore worn
weave wove / weaved woven / weaved
wed wed / wedded wed / wedded
weep wept wept
wet wet / wetted [?] wet / wetted [?]
whet REGULAR whetted whetted
win won won
wind wound wound
withdraw withdrew withdrawn
withhold withheld withheld
withstand withstood withstood
wring wrung wrung
write wrote written
X
No irregular verbs beginning with “X.”
Y
No irregular verbs beginning with “Y.”
Z
No irregular verbs beginning with “Z.”