Past Continuous - One Minute Grammar

Shantel / United Statesflaf

What were you doing this morning?

Hello. My name is Shantel and I'm from California. Today's question is, what were you doing this morning?

Well, this morning at 6:00, I was still sleeping. I usually wake up around 7:00 AM. When I wake up, I get dressed, and I brush my teeth, and it only takes me about 20 minutes to get ready for work. At 8:00, I was teaching a class at work, and my students were very sleepy, so I tried to wake them up and I told some funny jokes, but they didn't laugh. At 10:00, I was sitting at my desk making a PowerPoint for a lesson. So, I wasn't teaching at that time. What about you? What were you doing this morning?

Past Continuous - Grammar Notes

Point 1: The past continuous uses the past tense BE verbs + present participle (ing)
  1. I was watching TV when he arrived.
  2. I was sleeping when cat woke me up.
  3. They were waiting when we got there.
  4. She was just telling me a joke.
Point 2: We often use time connectors (when, as, while) to show two actions happened at once.
  1. As I was eating, a strange man approached me.
  2. While I was living in Spain, I met my partner.
  3. The children were fighting when I got home.
  4. She was sleeping, so I tried to be quiet.
Point 3: We use the past continuous when a specific time is referenced in the past.
  1. What were you doing at six last night?
  2. I was eating dinner with my family.
  3. Where were you this morning?
  4. I was at home. I was helping my mother.
Point 4: We use the phrase "was just -ing" to show an action just happened related to the present.
  1. As I was just saying, you need to be more careful.
  2. You know, I was just thinking the same thing.
  3. He was just sitting here. Where is he now?
  4. We were just leaving.
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Listen to a conversation with a police officer using the past continuous.