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Past Continuous

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Welcome to our Past Continuous Exercises. Let’s learn how to use the past continuous tense when something happened in the middle of something else. It is important to learn how to use them properly at this expanding stage of English where there is more focus on academic tasks and language functions. These Past Continuous Exercises teach how to talk about these actions in the past.

About 20 minutes.Learning how to use the past continuous.Expanding stage of learning English.
FlashcardsExercise 1Exercise 2Exercise 3Examples
Look at the flashcards of Will and Isabella. Can you write what they were doing when something happened?

You use the past continuous when an action or situation started before a time in the past, but had not finished.

  • I waved at George, but he wasn’t looking.
  • This time last year, I was studying in England.
  • What were you doing in your English class yesterday?

You can use ot when something happened in the middle of something else.

  • My phone rang while I was studying French.
  • It was raining when I got up.
  • I hurt my leg while I was playing basketball.

When you use the past of be (am/is/are), it changes to was/were.

Some verbs like know and want are not normally used in the past continuous.

  • Danny and I were good friends. We knew each other well.
  • I wanted to go home as I wasn’t enjoying the party.

Especially helpful are exercises that are focussed on a theme or topic as these provide word retention practice so you can be confident to read, write, speak and listen successfully. We have many activities to get your English up to speed in no time.
The more words you encounter and understand, the broader your day-to-day vocabulary will become. Our word games and puzzles are an excellent way to help to reinforce spellings in your mind.
Cambridge English Examinations:

Cambridge English exams are designed for learners at all levels from the Elementary level Cambridge English: Key (KET) to the very advanced level Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE). These exams give candidates proof of their ability to use English in a wide variety of contexts, relevant to work, study and leisure activities.

A2 Key | B1 Preliminary | B2 First

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