Past Continuous Tense Exercises

The past continuous tense is used in sentences to indicate actions that were happening at some time in the past. It can be written in the following format – subject + was/were + verb+ing + the rest of the sentence. The verbs ‘was’ and ‘were’ are used as helping verbs. ‘Was’ is used with singular nouns, the first-person pronoun (I) and third-person singular pronouns (he, she, it) and ‘were’ is used with plural nouns, the first-person plural pronoun (we), the second-person pronoun (you) and the third-person plural pronoun (they). 

Past Continuous Tense Exercises with Answers

Try out the following exercises to check your understanding of the past continuous tense. Answers for each exercise have also been provided for your reference.

Exercise 1 – Fill in the blanks

Fill in the blanks with the past continuous form of the verbs given in brackets.

  1. The children ____ hide and seek in the park. (play)
  2. They ____ to the movies. (go)
  3. I ___ the book you gave me on my birthday. (read)
  4. Winnie _____ her new dress. (stitch)
  5. The dogs ____ all night. (bark)
  6. Ron ___ his room when he heard the noise. (clean)
  7. It ___ darker with each passing moment. (get)
  8. The gardener ____ the lawn. (water)
  9. The army ___ to Ladakh when the enemy attacked them. (go)
  10. My sister ____ a Royal Enfield yesterday. (ride)
  11. The students ____ on their assignments. (work)
  12. That boy ____ in class. (dance)
  13. The kid ____ television all evening. (watch)
  14. The girl ____ to rock music. (listen)
  15. The birds ____ in the sky. (fly)

Answers for Exercise 1

  1. The children were playing hide and seek in the park. (play)
  2. They were going to the movies. (go)
  3. I was reading the book you gave me on my birthday. (read)
  4. Winnie was stitching her new dress. (stitch)
  5. The dogs were barking all night. (bark)
  6. Ron was cleaning his room when he heard the noise. (clean)
  7. It was getting darker with each passing moment. (get)
  8. The gardener was watering the lawn. (water)
  9. The army was going to Ladakh when the enemy attacked them. (go)
  10. My sister was riding a Royal Enfield yesterday. (ride)
  11. The students were working on their assignments. (work)
  12. That boy was dancing in class. (dance)
  13. The kid was watching television all evening. (watch)
  14. The girl was listening to rock music. (listen)
  15. The birds were flying in the sky. (fly)

Ecercise 2 – Change into the past continuous tense

Read the following sentences and change them into the past continuous tense.

  1. Raj drinks coffee.
  2. Sweta is singing her favourite song.
  3. Siraj left home.
  4. My friends played on the field.
  5. I will be going to France.
  6. The boy cried all night.
  7. The cat ran in the streets.
  8. I performed at the school function.
  9. The parrot talked back.
  10. Tia will visit her granny.

Answers for Exercise 2

  1. Raj was drinking coffee.
  2. Sweta was singing her favourite song.
  3. Siraj was leaving home.
  4. My friends were playing on the field.
  5. I was going to France.
  6. The boy was crying all night.
  7. The cat was running in the streets.
  8. I was performing at the school function.
  9. The parrot was talking back.
  10. Tia was visiting her granny.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1

What is the past continuous tense used for?

The past continuous tense is used to express/denote an action/event going on/in progress at some point in the past. The time of action/event may or may not be given. For example, “When I went to Ira’s house, she was sleeping.”

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