Most of us English learners are aware of the term tenses and what it means in the grammatical language. What most of us don’t understand is the importance tense has in the formation of the language.
Today I will discuss tenses in general and past continuous tense in specific to show you how it is different from the rest of the tenses.
Tense is described as the quality of a verb which occurs in a sentence and which describes the time frame of the action taking place. In simpler terms, the occurrence of action of a sentence is depicted by the tense of that sentence.
He likes bananas.
In the above example, the verb likes indicates that the action is taking place right now and is not an event of the past or future, thus we know that the tense of this sentence is present.
The basic categorization of tense is that it can exist in three forms which are past, present and future. This means that a verb also comes in three forms i.e. past, present and future.
A verb is said to be in past tense when the action it is describing has taken place at point in the past.
She sang well at the party.
This example makes use of second form of verb i.e. sang and thus it indicates that the action is of past.
But is doesn’t end there. The past tense is further divided into different forms and types which include past indefinite tense, past continuous tense, past perfect tense and past perfect continuous tense.
Today I will talk about past indefinite tense.
Past Continuous Tense
Past continuous indicates that a continuous action or occurrence was happening in the past. It refers to an action that happened before now continuously.
She was watching television.
The example indicates that the action of watching was a continuous event of the past.
A verb exists in past continuous tense when it is in first form with an –ing at the end and was or were before it.
The boys were standing at the bus stop.
The above example is also that of past continuous tense. Notice that the first form of verb stand is used along with –ing and were before it which represents that time of the continuous action was that of the past.