In the previous quiz we learnt about the present continuous tense and how the verbs change depending on a variety of situations. In this quiz we will look at the past continuous tense.
The rules regarding the use of verbs to express the past continuous tense are not too different from those that govern their use in the present continuous tense. As the name suggests, the past continuous tense is used to express an action relating to the past. Since we are looking at continuous tense it has to relate to what was happening in the past at the time of expression. Something that was happening, or going on, at some point in the past.
The past continuous tense is formed by adding the helping verb ‘to be’ (in the past tense – WAS or WERE) to the PRESENT PARTICPLE of the main verb.
For I, HE, SHE, IT or singular nouns, WAS is used:
For YOU, WE, THEY or plural nouns, WERE is used:
The past continuous tense can also be used to express the negative and interrogative forms:
To express the negative form, the word ‘NOT’ is placed between the helping verb and the main verb (present participle):
‘The Prime Minister WAS NOT COMING’.
To express the interrogative form the helping verb is placed before the subject:
‘WAS the Prime Minister COMING?'
The quiz that follows will test your understanding of the past continuous tense.