How to Use Was to Tell About Continuous Action

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Now, we shall learn how to use ‘was’ to describe continuous action. We use ‘was’ to describe the past tense. So, these are the sentences in the past continuous tense.

In this sentence, we use ‘was’ with another verb.

In these sentences, we use ‘was’ as a helping verb with the main verb. We should use the present participle of a verb, which is the ‘-ing’ form of a verb.

Construction of a sentence using ‘was’

We can construct a sentence as follows:

  • I/he/she/it/any singular subject + was + present participle (-ing form) of the main verb + other words + full stop (.)

Examples of ‘was’ in a sentence about continuous action

Let’s see how to use ‘was’ in continuous sentences with some examples.

Here are some examples. The formation is as above.

Have a look-

  1. Sarika was going to her home town.
     (main verb go + ing)
  2. He was reaching the airport to receive his parents.
    (main verb come + ing)
  3. She was studying in a college library.
    (main verb study + ing)
  4. He was teaching philosophy.
    (main verb teach + ing)
  5. It was eating fruit under a tree.
    (main verb eat + ing)
  6. Shalaka was observing the painting.
    (main verb observe + ing)
  7. Saurabh was carrying his tiffin.
    (main verb carry + ing)
  8. A cat was playing on the roof.
    (main verb play + ing)
  9. She was stitching a gown.
    (main verb stitch + ing)
  10. He was collecting postage stamps.
    (main verb collect + ing)
  11. She was fixing a gas cylinder.
    (main verb fix + ing)
  12. He was fetching water from a water tanker.
    (main verb fetch + ing)
  13. She was solving an example of mathematics.
    (main verb solve + ing)
  14. He was calling you yesterday.
    (main verb call + ing)
  15. Dr. Sarika was diagnosing the patient’s condition.
    (main verb diagnose + ing)
  16. She was examining the types of plants.
    (main examine + ing)
  17. A dog was waiting for food.
    (main verb wait + ing)
  18. Rati was inquiring about a psychiatrist.
    (main verb inquire + ing)
  19. She was classifying vegetables.
    (main verb classify + ing)
  20. A monkey was chasing the dog.
    (main verb drink + ing)
  21. The maid was asking about her salary.
    (main verb chase + ing)
  22. A lion was licking its wound.
    (main verb lick + ing)
  23. A parrot was speaking with us.
    (main verb speak + ing)
  24. She was painting her house.
    (main verb paint + ing)
  25. He was choosing a dress for his son.
    (main verb choose + ing)
  26. Rati was clarifying the issue.
    (main verb clarify + ing)
  27. Soham was thinking of joining the party.
    (main verb think + ing)
  28. Parth was deciding to work from Monday.
    (main verb decide + ing)
  29. Rashi was developing an educational website.
    (main verb develop + ing)
  30. She was packing a gift for her brother.
    (main verb pack + ing)

Related Lessons-

  1. Use of were
  2. Were- negative sentences
  3. Use of was: continuous
  4.                           questions
  5.                        affirmative answers
  6.                       negative answers 


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Hi, I am Madhuri Kherde, an educationist, ex-principal of a secondary school in Mumbai, and founder of I have been teaching English and Mathematics for the last thirty-four years. I like to share my knowledge and experience with others. So I hope you enjoy my posts on this website.