Past Continuous - Uses

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PAST CONTINUOUS
This is a practical oversimplification which will be right most of the time. For more detailed information see Mastery of the Tenses!
Main Uses for the Past Continuous
"was doing" / "were doing"

For unfinished past actions
  • I was working on my thesis when I met you.
  • I saw you waiting at the bus stop.
  • I wanted to know what they were doing.
For past activities at a specific time in the past (especially when the action is longer than the time)
  • When you arrived I was cooking.
  • I was working at 11am.
  • The sun was shining and the birds were singing.
For actions that were interrupted by another
  • The phone rang while I was cooking.
  • The cat ran across me as I was driving.
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Question


What tense do we use for past actions that were interrupted by another past action?

VERB?
Tense/Modal/Structure
ASPECT(s)
VOICE


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Answer


The Past Continuous

Notes


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Notes


The phone rang while I was cooking.
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