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Past progressive tense – 5 of the best worksheets and resources for KS1 and KS2 English

The past progressive tense can seem like a confusing contradiction of terms, but these worksheets, activities and ideas will help your students get to grips with this grammar element...

  • Past progressive tense – 5 of the best worksheets and resources for KS1 and KS2 English

What is past progressive tense?

The past progressive describes something ongoing that happened in the past.

A sentence in the past progressive tense will include the past tense of the verb ‘to be’, so ‘was’ if it’s a singular subject, or ‘were’ if the subject is plural’

Past progressive examples

  • Yesterday, we were painting.
  • I wasn’t watching.
  • Aya was looking for you earlier.
  • Karl was buying some things for the weekend.
  • They were watching TV when they heard the news.
  • The sun was rising.
  • Amanda was making a patchwork quilt.

1 | Year 2 past progressive tense SPaG worksheets

This bright, appealing PDF grammar worksheet is an excellent way to practise and revise using the past progressive tense in Year 2.

This primary resource is divided into five sections:

  • Understand
    Rewrite words by adding ‘ing’, and choose the correct word to complete the sentences
  • Challenge
    Write a sentence for each of the past progressive verbs to show that the action was happening in the past
  • Test
    Tick the sentence that was written in the past progressive tense, then write one verb in the sentences given to complete them
  • Explain
    Write a sentence for each version of the past progressive verb walking, and explain how the word before the verb (was/were) changes the sentence you wrote
  • Apply
    Write a description in the past progressive tense about the image provided

Activities include SATs-style questions and opportunities for creative writing responses, with eye-catching images as prompts.

Get this resource here.


2 | Past progressive tense explained

If you want a short introduction to the past progressive tense for children to watch, this one from Grammar Monster is a mere 80 seconds, includes examples, and can be watched without the sound if you’re in a quiet setting.


3 | Year 2 past simple or past progressive worksheet

This worksheet helps to consolidate understanding of the meaning, form and function of the past simple and past progressive tenses.

Answers are included.

Download and print here.


4 | Past progressive practice worksheet

These resource is divided into three worksheets if you want to use them for differentiated learning, or different year groups.

The first asks you to insert ‘was’ or ‘were’ into each sentence, the second you need to answer questions in either the simple past or past progressive tense as requested and the third you need to complete sentences with either simple past or past progressive tenses.

Grab these worksheets here.


5 | Past progressive practise paper

This three-page worksheet introduces children to the past progressive tense, with a brief introduction, questions, an extension task and an answer sheet.

Download and print here.

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