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Lesson 29
past continuous tense questions

the past continuous tense - questions

Questions in the past continuous tense are for past actions that were continuous over a period of time.

The helping verb (was or were) comes before the subject followed by the main verb. 

 

 

was / were + subject + main verb +ing

  • Were they working on their assignment? 
  • How long were they working on it? 
  • What were you doing last night? 
  • Were you studying for your exams?   

29a. yes-no questions in the
the past continuous tense ✍🏾

was or were + subject + main verb + ing + ?

singular

Was I sleeping? 

Were you sleeping? 

Was he sleeping? 

Was she sleeping? 

Was it sleeping? 

 

plural

Were they sleeping? 

Were you sleeping? 

Were they sleeping? 

The answer to a question like this is “yes” or “no.”

29a. Examples

woman, girl, lady-3403604.jpg
  • A: Was she sleeping? 
  • B: Yes, she was. 
  • A: Was she having a dream? 
  • B: Yes, she was.

29b. information questions in the past continuous tense ✍🏾

Question words such as what, where, who, when, and why are often used for the past continuous tense. 

question word + was or were + subject + main verb + _________ing

  • What were you doing last night?  
  • Where was he living?  
  • Who was she speaking to? / To whom was she speaking?  
  • When were you planning to leave? 
  • Why were they getting so angry? 

29b. Examples ✍🏾

smartphone, phone, mobile-593345.jpg
  • A: What was she doing? 
  • B: She was using her cell phone. 
  • A: Who was she talking to? 
  • B: She wasn’t talking to anyone. She was texting. 

29c. information questions in the past continuous tense ✍🏾

Some questions in the past continuous tense begin with the question word as the subject.  You can use “who” or “what” to do this: 

question word (subject) + was or were+  main verb + _________ing

  • Who was driving the car?  
  • What was making all that noise?  
  • Who was mowing the lawn at 6:00 in the morning? 
  • What was dripping from the bottom of the car?

29c. Examples ✍🏾

profile, beach, teenager-7579739.jpg
  • A: Who was skating at the park? 
  • B: That was Eddie. 

Write in your notebook. ✍🏾

Directions: Write each question with the verb in the past continuous tense. 

1. What _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ you _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ yesterday? (do) 

2.  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ they _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ in Mexico last year? (live) 

3. Who _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _all that noise last night? (make) 

4. Why _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ he _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  so angry? (get) 

5. What _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ the customers  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ about? (complain) 

6. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ the water  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _? (boil) 

7. What time _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ you _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ to leave? (plan) 

8. How much _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ she _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ for internet service? (pay) 

9. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ there flowers  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ in the yard? (grow) 

10. What _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ the problem? (cause) 

The answers are below. 

In the next lesson, you will learn to use the future continuous tense. 

 

Here are the answers: 

Directions: Write each question with the verb in the past continuous tense. 

1. What were you doing yesterday? (do) 

2. Were they living in Mexico last year? (live) 

3. Who was making all that noise last night? (make) 

4. Why was he getting  so angry? (get) 

5. What were the customers complaining about? (complain) 

6. Was the water boiling? (boil) 

7. What time were you planning to leave? (plan) 

8. How much was she paying for internet service? (pay) 

9. Were there flowers  growing in the yard? (grow) 

10. What was causing the problem? (cause) 

 

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