We use the past continuous to describe something in progress at a particular time in the past.
In 2012, I was living in France.
At 11 o’clock, he was waiting by the river.
When they arrived, I was cooking lunch

Tip

We often use the past continuous to describe the situation at the beginning of a story.
In 2010, we were travelling across America.
John was driving too fast down the motorway.

Use the past continuous with the past simple:
• to describe long and short actions together:
I was reading my book when the plane took off.

• to describe a longer action that stopped suddenly because something else happened:
When I was driving to work, my car broke down.

We can use when to join the two parts of a sentence:
When my car broke down, I was driving to work.
My car broke down when I was driving to work.

 I / He / She / ItYou / We / They
+I was driving to work.You were standing on the platform.
-He wasn't listening.We weren't watching.
Y/N?Was she waiting for you?
Yes, she was. / No, she wasn't.
Were they travelling by train?
Yes, they were. / No, they weren't.

Now practice on the Past Continuous with our interactive exercises:


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