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Past Progressive Tense

The past progressive tense (also sometimes called "past continuous") is formed by using was/were + main verb + ing, as in, "We were eating dinner when the phone rang."

We use the past progressive tense to talk about actions that were already in progress when another action took place in the past. (At the moment the phone rang, we were already in the process of eating dinner.)

It's also common to use this tense to talk about two on-going actions that were happening at the same time in the past, as in, "While Justin Timberlake was finishing his new album, his fans were waiting for the chance to hear it."

Finally, we can also use this tense to talk about actions in the past that took place over time, as in, "I couldn't sleep last night because dogs were barking the whole night."

Past Progressive Tense Grammar Quiz

  1. While you sweating in the hot sun, I was hanging out in the air conditioned shopping mall.

  2. I lost my watch while I was .

  3. The family at the table sharing cookies.

  4. Julie in the coffee shop when her friend texted her to come to the bar.

  5. While I was cleaning the apartment, were you ?

Go Super to see the answers! Go Super!

Past Progressive Tense Lessons:

Move On

Full Moon

Going to College

Peer Pressure

Up and Running

Guns N' Roses

Men In Black 3

Weird Pets

Go to the TOEFL® page >


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United States

While I was studying, she was sleeping.

03:01 PM May 16 2017 |


Congo, Democratic Republic Of The

i was eating when my mon called me

04:35 AM Jun 01 2016 |



I was waiting for the last trip when my friend suddenly arrived to fetch me up.

04:51 PM Feb 22 2016 |



i used to studied hard. but now i am used to going outside instead.

08:10 AM Dec 11 2015 |



thanks for sharing this educational article, its really help me a lot

11:54 AM Sep 27 2015 |




Past prograssive tense is used to talk about the past action which was in prograss and other action were happend,

10:48 PM Jan 14 2015 |




when i was hearing music during the night time, my friend calling me to go for gyme, if any thing wrong please correct me,

08:49 PM Nov 04 2014 |




We were eating dinner when my girl friend called me

08:44 PM Nov 04 2014 |



I couldn’t sleep well last night because my baby was crying the whole night. I was being tired in day time.

11:32 PM May 12 2014 |

1 person likes this




While i was buying some food in the market, my sister was watching tv in her bedroom.

Please correct my sentence.:-) thx

06:40 AM Jan 06 2014 |