A Introduction. The past continuous means that at a time in the past we were in the m.. 329
The past continuous means that at a time in the past
we were in the middle of an action.
Thepast continuous is the past tense of be + an ing-form.
I/he/she/it was playingyou/we/they were playing
I/he/she/it wasn't playingyou/we/they weren't playing
was I/he/she/it playing?were you/we/they playing?
Soft music was playing.People were walkingin the park. I wasn't dreaming.I really was in New York City. Why did you give our secret away? What wereyou thinkingof? Was Matthew already waitingfor you when you got there?
Read this conversation.
Melanie: / rang at about three yesterday afternoon, but you weren't in. I didn't know where you were.
David: Oh, I was helpingMike. We were repairinghis car. It took ages. We were workingon it all
Melanie: It was raining.1 hope you weren't doingit outside.
David: No, we were in the garage. So I didn't get wet. But I'm afraid I got oil all over my new trousers. Melanie: Why wereyou wearingyour new trousers to repair a car? David: / don't know. I forgot I had them on.
It was raining at three o'clock means that at three o'clock we were in the middle of a period of rain. The rain began before three and stopped some time after three. We were working all afternoon means that the action went on for the whole period. David is stressing the length of time that the work went on.
We use the continuous with actions. We do not normally use it with state verbs (see Unit 7). For states we use the past simple.
1 didn't know where you were, not
I wasn't knowing...
10 Past continuous or simple?