GRAMMAR Exercise C [B1+] Past Progressive or Present Progressive


We use past progressive for

  • events that happened in the past over a period of time

was/were + main verb-ing

Past progressive sentences

1. Positive sentences

  • You were telling me earlier about your diet. Tell me more.
  • Yesterday I was talking about foods that made my cramps worse.

2. Negative sentences

Here, the ‘not’ comes after ‘was’ or ‘were’.

  • I wasn’t holding on as I got out of the shower, and I fell.
  • So you weren’t having any dizziness before last week, correct?

Past progressive questions

Only use the helping verbs ‘was’ or ‘were’

The word order changes.

‘was’ or ‘were’ + (person/place/thing) +…-ing …?

1. Positive questions

  • Was the physiotherapy helping at all?
  • Were you trying to do more exercise outdoors?

2. Negative questions

Here, ‘not’ comes after ‘was’ or’ were’ and before the subject (you, he, she and so on)

  • Weren’t you getting any relief from the medication?

Past progressive w-questions (who, what, when, where, why, which, how)

In w-questions, the w-word goes before the ‘were’ and ‘was’:

  • What were you taking before now for your pain and diarrhea?
  • How was your mother managing before the home visits started?


practice repeating aloud each example sentence in this tutorial. focus on the common collocations, running them together until they flow as one expression.  the collocations are underlined.


Past progressive or present progressive?

Instructions: Choose the correct option.

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