Past Progressive Tense

What Is the Past Progressive Tense? (with Examples)

The past progressive tense is used to describe an on-going activity in the past. Often, it is used to set the scene for another action.

Examples of the Past Progressive Tense

The past progressive tense can be used to describe an activity in the past which was interrupted: You can also have a negative version: And, the question version: The past progressive tense can also be used for describing an action taking place when another occurred. And, it can be used for describing an action which was taking place at the same time as another:

Forming the Past Progressive Tense

Here is an infographic explaining the past progressive tense:

The Other Past Tenses

The past progressive tense is one of four past tenses. They are:
The 4 Past Tenses Example
simple past tense I went
past progressive tense I was going
past perfect tense I had gone
past perfect progressive tense I had been going
The past progressive tense is formed like this:

For singular:

was + [verb] + ing

For plural:

were + [verb] + ing

The [verb] + "ing" part is known as a present participle. It is formed like this:

Add "ing" to most verbs:
For verbs that end "e", remove the "e" and add "ing":
For verbs that end "ie", change the "ie" to "y" and add "ing":
For verbs whose last syllable is written [consonant-vowel-consonant] and is stressed, double the final consonant and add "ing":

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See Also

Tenses Simple past tense Past progressive tense
Past perfect tense Past perfect progressive tense Simple present tense Present progressive tense Present perfect tense Present perfect progressive tense Simple future tense Future progressive tense Future perfect tense Future perfect progressive tense Glossary of grammatical terms