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How do we make the Past Continuous Tense?

The structure of the past continuous tense is:

subject + auxiliary be + main verb
conjugated in Past Simple  
was, were present participle

The auxiliary verb (be) is conjugated in the Past Simple: was, were

The main verb is invariable in present participle form: -ing

For negative sentences we insert not between the auxiliary verb and the main verb.

For question sentences, we exchange the subject and the auxiliary verb.

Look at these example sentences with the Past Continuous tense:

  subject auxiliary verb   main verb  
+ I was   watching TV.
+ You were   working hard.
- He, she, it was not helping Mary.
- We were not joking.  
? Were you   being silly?
? Were they   playing football?
The spelling rules for adding -ing to make the Past Continuous tense are the same as for the Present Continuous tense.