The words “progressive” (in progress) or “continuous” (ongoing) mean basically the same thing. I can call it “past progressive” or “past continuous” and I mean the exact same thing.
The progressive means an action is in progress at that moment. The moment can be past, present or future.
Past progressive uses the past form of BE (was/were) + the ING form of the main verb.
- I was working when you called.
- She was studying from 5pm -9pm last night.
- You were listening to music while you walked to school.
To say at what moment we mean, we can use:
- A time: at 6pm last night
- An interruption: when you arrived
- A second action in progress: while we were talking
Fun (scary) Video Story – listen to the verb tenses!
QUESTIONS in PAST PROGRESSIVE
To make questions in the past progressive, move the BE verb to the front.
She was working. Was she working? They were eating. Were they eating?
How is the past continuous different from the simple past?
The simple past is finished and done some time before now.
The past continuous was ongoing/in progress at a particular moment in the past. The focus is on the action in progress at that moment.
PRACTICE WITH SIMPLE PAST VS. PAST CONTINUOUS