This is a grammatical tense used to describe an action happening or which somebody was doing at a particular time.
Positive/affirmative: (subject + was/were + verb + ing)
Negative: (subject + was/were + not + verb + ing)
Question: (was/were + subject + verb + ing)
Let’s study the following example situation:
Yesterday Karina and Jim played tennis. They began at 10 o’clock and finished at 11.30. So, at 10.30 they were playing tennis.
They were playing = they were in the middle of playing. They had not finished playing.
Was/were + ing verb is the past continuous:
I was doing something = I was on the middle of doing something at a certain time. The action or situation had already started before this time, but had not finished yet.
- This time last year I was living in Canada.
- What were you doing at 10 o’clock last night?
- I waved to Helen, but she wasn’t looking.
- What was John doing at 10pm last night?