Past continuous tense

past continuous tense infographic

The past continuous tense is one of the most graphical tenses in English. By “graphical” I mean that it is easy to demonstrate the difference between the past simple and past continuous tense in a video or in a short dramatic sketch. Unfortunately, I could not find a video demonstrating the difference betweent the two past tenses, and that is why I created one myself.


In addition to this video I created an infographic and an online quiz to practise the past continuous tense.

Past continuous – infographic

This infographic explains the form and the usage of the past continuous tense in a graphical way.

past continuous tense infographic

First, concentrate on the form. Explain that the students have to use the verbs WAS or WERE and the verb ending with -ing. Then explain how the negative and questions are formed.
If your students cannot create the -ing form properly, refer to the following post on the present continuous tense, which shows how the -ing verbs are formed.

Once you get to the usage of the past continuous tense, play the video. Play it twice and the second time stop the video and highlight the differences in the scenes and the tenses.

Past continuous – online quiz

You can use the following online test in class or you can ask your students to do it at home. The online quiz consists of two parts. In the first part, the students are asked to put the verb into the past continuous tense. In the second part they have to choose either the past simple tense or the past continuous tense.

If you want to play the online quiz in full screen click the button below.

Past continuous – online quiz

Or you can use the flash version here:

Past continuous – online quiz

Past continuous – share

More often than not I teach in classrooms with no internet connection, so I realize that it is important to be able to use the activities offline too. You can download the online quiz, the game, and the picture and use them offline:

Past continuous tense download

Past continuous tense – links

You can find one more post on past continuous tense here.

There is also a good discussion of the past continuous tense at the British Council site.

And the last link is to the BBC Learning English site.

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  1. mohamed muctarr bah
    hi,d piece is very important,appreciate it so much.i really do need useful insights on the entirety of verbs operation
    02/04/2015 at 12:03 pm
  2. kul Paudel
    It's good way of present grammatical information and may work nicely at my class
    02/04/2015 at 12:29 pm

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