Using the Past Continuous
(or past progressive tense)1: An action in the past which overlaps another action or a time. The action in the past continuous starts before and often continues after the other shorter action or time.
- I was walking to the station when I met John. (I started walking before I met John, and maybe I continued afterwards.)
- At three o'clock, I was working. (I started before three o'clock and finished after three o'clock.)
- The birds were singing, the sun was shining and in the cafés people were laughing and chatting. Amy sat down and took out her phone.
- He was always leaving the tap running.
- She was constantly singing.
- I was working in the garden all day.
- He was reading all evening.
Try some exercises about the past continuous here.
If you want to learn more about the tenses, especially about how to use them when you're speaking, you could try my video course, Terrific Tenses, which is part of Perfect English Grammar Plus.