Past continuous tense word orderThe past continuous tense uses the verb 'to be' as a helping verb and the base form of the verb + -ing as a main verb. The basic word order for affirmative sentences is: subject + helping verb 'to be' (was/were) + the main verb (the base form of the verb + -ing).
the base form
of the verb + ing
- Larry was doing an exercise on the adverbs of frequency.
- The children were playing on the street corner.
- Sam was singing in the shower.
- The sun was shining and the birds were chirping.
Spelling of verb + -ing forms
The spelling of verb + ing forms can be a little difficult. You can read my lesson on making present continuous affirmative sentences to study the basic spelling rules of these verb forms.
Common mistakes with affirmative sentencesThe most common mistake is using the incorrect verb 'to be':
My boys was climbing into the tree house. X
My boys were climbing into the tree house.
It were raining heavily. X
It was raining heavily.
The donkeys was walking extremely slowly. X
The donkeys were walking extremely slowly.
The wind were blowing through the trees. X
The wind was blowing through the trees.
Another common mistake is to use the base form of the verb instead of verb + -ing. Look at these examples:
I was play in the park. X
I was playing in the park. (past continuous tense)
I played in the park. (past simple tense)
Max and Mona were read a book about sports vocabulary. X
Max and Mona were reading a book about sports vocabulary. (past continuous tense)
Max and Mona read a book about sports vocabulary. (past simple tense)
The receptionist was speak on the phone. X
The receptionist was speaking on the phone. (past continuous tense)
The receptionist spoke on the phone. (past simple tense)
The avocado tree was grow slowly. X
The avocado tree was growing slowly. (past continuous tense)
The avocado tree grew slowly. (past simple tense)
Please note: Sometimes we use the past continuous tense. Other times we use the past simple tense. We will talk about these different uses in a future lesson.
receptionist (noun) = a person who answers the phone, greets and help visitors, and sometimes does typing at a company
|tree house (noun)|
|avocado tree (noun)|
Your turn! Write down 5 past simple affirmative sentences. Write down the same sentences but in the past continuous tense. For example: (0) My parents dreamt about ghosts. / My parents were dreaming about ghosts. Please leave your answers in the comments section and I will gladly give you some feedback. Good luck!