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past progressive

[ past pruh-gres-iv ]

noun

  1. a verb construction, in English made up of the auxiliary verb be in the past tense followed by the present participle of the main verb, used especially to express an action or event that was incomplete or in progress at a point of reference in the past, such as I was sleeping when the phone rang.


adjective

  1. designating a verb construction used to express an action or event that was incomplete or in progress at a point of reference in the past.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of past progressive1

First recorded in 1790–1800

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petrichor

[pet-ri-kawr]

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past perfectpastrami