Past Continuous Grammar Test: Check Your Knowledge!

Past Continuous (Past Progressive) in English

Past Continuous (Past Progressive) is a tense used to describe actions that happened at a specific time in the past or a long period of time in the past. This tense indicates actions that were already in progress or were taking place at a certain time when another event occurred.

Formation of Past Continuous

To form the Past Continuous, we use the auxiliary verb “was” or “were” (depending on the person – I, he, she, itwas; you, we, theywere) and a verb ending in “-ing” (for example, “playing “, “eating”, “studying”).


  • She was playing the piano when the phone rang
  • They were watching a movie last night

Use of Past Continuous

  1. Actions that took place at a certain point in the past:
    • Last night at 8 PM, I was studying for my exam
  2. Two actions that happened simultaneously in the past:
    • While Mary was cooking dinner, John was watching TV
  3. Long-running actions that were interrupted by another event:
    • I was reading a book when my friend called me
  4. Time expressions that often indicate the Past Continuous:
    • at 6 PM yesterday
    • while
    • when

Note that the Past Continuous is not used for actions that happened in the past and happened only once. Past Simple is used for such actions.

Forms of the Past Continuous

  1. Positive:
    • I/He/She/It was + V-ing (example, playing, eating, studying)
    • You/We/They were + V-ing (example, playing, eating, studying)
  • Example:
    • I was reading a book last night
    • They were watching a movie when I arrived
  1. Negative:
    • I/He/She/It was not (wasn’t) + V-ing (example, playing, eating, studying)
    • You/We/They were not (weren’t) + V-ing (example, playing, eating, studying)
  • Example:
    • She wasn’t studying French at that time.
    • We weren’t watching TV when the guests arrived.
  1. Question:
    • Was + I/He/She/It + V-ing? (example, playing, eating, studying)
    • Were + You/We/They + V-ing? (example, playing, eating, studying)
  • Example:
    • Were you studying when I called you?
    • Was she watching TV at 8 PM yesterday?

Past Continuous test

Remember to use the auxiliary verb “was” or “were“, depending on the person, and the verb ending in “-ing” to form the Past Continuous. Now that you know these tenses, prepare to take the tests and use your knowledge to answer the questions correctly.


Practice. Past Continuous Grammar Test: Check Your Knowledge!

While they ____________ their bags, the train arrived

When I called her, she ____________ her dinner.

While the teacher ____________ the lesson, some students were talking

I ____________ to the radio when suddenly the music stopped

While the kids ____________ TV, their parents were cooking dinner.

While Tom ____________ the guitar, his sister was singing.

They ____________ a meeting at 3 PM yesterday.

What ____________ when the power went out?

She ____________ her bike when the accident happened.

What ____________ when the accident occurred?

She ____________ her homework at 8 PM last night.

What ____________ while I was away on vacation?

She ____________ her bike every day last summer.

He ____________ basketball when he sprained his ankle

What were you doing at 10 PM yesterday?

They ____________ volleyball at the beach when it started raining.

We ____________ to the radio when the news came on

What ____________ when the phone rang?

When ____________ to the zoo, it started raining heavily

What ____________ when you fell asleep?

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