Grammar Lesson Plan: Past Continuous

Grammar Lesson Plan: Past Continuous

Level: elementary

Past Continuous (tense*) = Past Progressive (tense*)

* tense – the form of a verb that shows the time at which an action happened. For example: I live (the Present Simple tense); I lived (the Past Simple tense); I will live (the Future Simple tense).

The Past Continuous tense:

  1. I called you at 8, but you weren’t there. – Oh, I was walking in the park.
  2. Did you have a good time in London? – Not really. I was preparing my presentation all weekend.

We form the Past Continuous tense like this:

Screen Shot 2018-08-10 at 8.29.14
Negative: was/were NOT eating

We use the Past Continuous tense to talk about actions in progress around a particular moment in the past:

I knocked on your door this morning. – Sorry, I didn’t hear you. I was sitting in the garden.

Screen Shot 2018-08-10 at 8.34.13

! We don’t normally use the Past Continuous with verb like, love, hate, understand, want, know, realize:

  1. I liked pop music when I was at school. I was liking pop music when I was at school.
  2. I loved this place when I was young. I was loving…
  3. I hated eggplants in the past but now I like them. I was hating…
  4. I understood this very well. I was understanding…
  5. I wanted to buy a car. I was wanting…
  6. I knew it. I was knowing…
  7. I realized it. I was realizing…

We use the Past Continuous to describe everyday background actions: to tell or ask people what was happening around a particular moment:

  1. What was Mary doing in the library yesterday morning? – She was reading.
  2. We were watching the film at around 8 p.m., and Nancy brought us some popcorn.

We use the Past Continuous to describe the background of a story:

It was raining. My friends were standing at the bus stop and raindrops were falling on their umbrellas. Then the bus came.


  1. What were you doing at around 8 p.m. yesterday?
  2. What were you doing all morning?
  3. What were you doing at 6 a.m. yesterday?
  4. What were you doing at 10 p.m. last Friday?

Exercise 1:

Screen Shot 2018-08-10 at 8.52.03

Answer the questions:

  1. Where is Phil now?
  2. When did he leave home?
  3. What was Patti doing when Phil left?
  4. Who was dancing?
  5. What was Nick eating?
  6. Does Nick like fish and chips?
  7. Why wasn’t Patti playing the music loud?

Exercise 2:

Screen Shot 2018-08-10 at 9.00.16

Answer the questions:

  1. Why was Bill in the woods?
  2. What was the weather like when Bill saw a man?
  3. Why was Bill in the woods?
  4. What was the man doing?
  5. What was the man wearing?
  6. Where was the cat?
  7. What did Bill do after he saw the man?
  8. Do you think the man was strange? Why / why not?

Exercise 3:

Look at the pictures and tell you teacher what the people were doing:

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One thought on “Grammar Lesson Plan: Past Continuous

  1. I like just the last activity where there are pictures to describe what people were doing at a specific time because it seems to me that this way is a funny one to motivate to speak and use grammar lesson without being bored.


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