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The Past Continuous tense is an important tense in English. We use it to say what we were in the middle of doing at a particular moment in the past.

We often use the Past Continuous tense to “set the scene” in stories. We use it to describe the background situation at the moment when the action begins. Often, the story starts with the Past Continuous tense and then moves into the Past Simple tense. Here is an example:

How do we use the Past Continuous Tense?

The Past Continuous tense expresses action at a particular moment in the past. The action started before that moment but has not finished at that moment. For example, yesterday I watched a film on TV. The film started at 7 pm and finished at 9 pm.

When we use the Past Continuous tense, our listener usually knows or understands what time we are talking about. Look at these examples:

  • I was working at 10 pm last night.
  • They were not playing football at 9 am this morning.
  • What were you doing at 10 pm last night?
  • What were you doing when he arrived?
  • She was cooking when I telephoned her.
  • We were having dinner when it started to rain.
  • Rahmanu went home early because it was snowing.



My friend and I were swimming at 10.00 o’clock yesterday morning.

(Saya dan teman saya sedang berenang jam 10.00 pagi kemarin).


Rita was sleeping when her friends came to her house.

(Rita sedang tidur ketika teman-temannya datang kerumahnya)


Rina was doing her homework when Santi phoned her.

(Rina sedang mengerjakan PR ketika Santi menelponnya).


My father and mother were watering the plants while I was sweeping in the garden.

(Ayah dan Ibu saya sedang menyiram tanaman ketika saya sedang menyapu di kebun).


She was drinking a cup of coffee when it began to rain.

(Perempuan itu sedang meminum secangkir kopi ketika hujan mulai turun).


We were watching a movie at my house.

(Kami sedang menonton film di rumah says).


At the time, Dylan was drawing a beautiful flowers garden.

(Waktu itu, Dylan sedang melukis taman bunga yang indah).


He was seeking some inspiration in the village.

(Laki-laki itu sedang mencari inspirasi di desa).


He was playing football.

(Laki-laki itu sedang bermain sepak bola)


We were having dinner with our parents.

(Kamu sedang makan malam bersama kedua orang tua kami).




He wasn’t preparing for the exam last semester.

(laki-laki itu tidak sedang mempersiapkan ujian semester lalu)


Sandra wasn’t bringing the book two days ago.

(Sandra tidak sedang membawa buku dua hari lalu)


They weren’t waiting for their friends.

(Mereka tidak sedang menunggu teman-temannya)


The teacher wasn’t teaching in the class.

(Guru tidak sedang mengajar di kelas)


She was not washing her motorbike when I came to her house.

(Dia tidak sedang mencuci sepeda motornya ketika saya datang kerumahnya)


I wasn’t drinking a cup of my favourite coffee.

(Saya tidak sedang minum kopi favorit says)


She wasn’t planting the plants.

(Perempuan itu tidak sedang menanami bunga di taman)


Wayan wasn’t using the internet.

(Wayan tidak sedang menggunakan internet)


They weren’t playing outside when the teacher came.

(Mereka tidak sedang bermain diluar ketika guru datang)


Wayan and Komang were not watching television from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M. last night.

(Wayan dan Komang tidak sedang menonton televisi dari jam 6 sampai 8 tadi malam).




Were they eating sandwiches during lunchtime three days ago?

(Apakah mereka sedang makan sandwich selama jam makan siang tiga hair lalu?)


Were they working all night yesterday?

(Apakah mereka sedang bekerja sepanjang malam kemarin?)


Were they playing the guitar while Wayan was playing the violin?

(Apakah mereka sedang bermain gitar ketika Wayan sedang bermain Biola?)


Were you studying when I entered your room?

(Apakah kamu sedang belajar ketika saya masuk keruanganmu?)


Was Tim reading a book at 5 P.M yesterday?

(Apakah Tim sedang membaca buku jam 5 siang kemarin?)


Was she going to the school by bus when I met her yesterday?

(Apakah perempuan itu sedang pergi ke sekolah dengan bis ketika saya bertemu dengannya kemarin?)


Was she looking at the sunset at Pandawa beach?

(Apakah perempuan itu sedang melihat matahari terbenam di Pantai Pandawa?)


Was he writing novels when he calls me?

(Apakah laki-laki itu sedang menulis novel saat dia menelponku?)


Was Kim playing football yesterday afternoon?

(Apakah Kim sedang bermain sepak bola kemarin sore?)


Was she studying English at 9 o’clock last night?

(Apakah perempuan itu sedang belajar bahasa Inggris jam 9 kemarin malam?)


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