- 過去形で書かれた物語の背景を述べる時：例 "The sun was shining and the birds were singing as the elephant came out of the jungle. The other animals were relaxing in the shade of the trees, but the elephant moved very quickly. She was looking for her baby, and she didn't notice the hunter who was watching her through his binoculars. When the shot rang out, she was running towards the river..."
- 他の出来事や行動によって中断された行動を述べる時：例 "I was having a beautiful dream when the alarm clock rang."
- 気が変わったことを表現する時：例 "I was going to spend the day at the beach but I've decided to get my homework done instead."
- 'wonder'と一緒に、とても丁寧に要求する時：例 "I was wondering if you could baby-sit for me tonight."
- They were waiting for the bus when the accident happened.
- Caroline was skiing when she broke her leg.
- When we arrived he was having a bath.
- When the fire started I was watching television.
すべての動詞の過去継続は二つの要素から成ります："to be"動詞の過去形 (was/were)と主動詞の基本形+ing.
|主語||was/were||基本形 + ing|
|I was playing||I was not playing||Was I playing?|
|You were playing||You were not playing||Were you playing?|
|He was playing||He wasn't playing||Was he playing?|
|We were playing||We weren't playing||Were we playing?|
|They were playing||They weren't playing||Were they playing?|