English Grammar – Past Progressive
Form of Past Progressive
- P: He was speaking.
- N: He was not speaking.
- Q: Was he speaking?
Use of Past Progressive
Past Progressive is used for actions in the past and focusses on the course or duration of the action.
- Action taking place at a certain moment in the past
Being in the middle of doing something at a certain time in the past.Examples:
At two o’clock, Carla was preparing the contract.
Yesterday I was looking for Mister Miller’s phone number.
- Actions happening simultaneously
Actions in the past happening at the same time (over a longer period of time).Examples:
While Claire was preparing her presentation, Tom was showing the customer around.
While Sarah was looking for the documents, I was keeping the customer on the line.
- Being in the middle of an action, when another action set in
Action taking place over a longer period of time in the past when (suddenly) another (shorter) action set in. (see also: Simple Past)Beispiele:
I was sitting in a meeting, when my mobile suddenly rang.
When I came in, John was playing solitaire.
Signal Words of Past Progressive
when, while, as long as
Changed: 10th Dec 2010 19:33