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Signal words for Past Continuous

What are signal words for the Past Continuous?

Signal words tell you what tense to use. With the Past Continuous we often use a period of time i.e. while or when. The Past Continuous is frequently used in sentences together with the Past Simple.

while (In this part of the sentence we usually use Past Continuous.)

  • While I was cooking, Petra was reading a book.

when (In this part of the sentence we usually use the Past Simple.)

  • I was cooking when the telephone rang.