Past continuous in Arabic is when كَانَ as a helping verb meaning “was/were”, comes before the imperfect tense.
|كانَ يَفْعَلُ||He was doing|
Past continuous conjugation of كانَ يَفْعَلُ :
3rd person masculine
|كَانَ يَفْعَلُ||كَنَا يَفْعَلانِ||كانُوْا يَفْعَلُونَ|
|He was doing||They both were doing||They all were doing|
3rd person feminine
|كَانَتْ تَفْعَلُ||كَنَتَا تَفْعَلانِ||كُنَّ يَفْعَلْنَ|
|She was doing||They both were doing||They all were doing|
2nd person masculine
|كُنْتَ تَفْعَلُ||كَنْتُمَا تَفْعَلانِ||كَنْتُمْ تَفْعَلُوْنَ|
|You were doing||You both were doing||You all were doing|
2nd person feminine
|كُنْتِ تَفْعَلِيْنَ||كَنْتُمَا تَفْعَلانِ||كُنْتُنَّ تَفْعَلْنَ|
|You were doing||You both were doing||You were doing|
|كُنْتُ أَفْعَلُ||–||كُنَّا نَفْعَلُ|
|I was doing||–||We were doing|
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The conjugation for كَانَ is in the past tense though it is used along with imperfect tense يَفْعَلُ.
|ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوا وَّكَانُوا يَعْتَدُونَ|
|That was because they disobeyed and were [habitually] transgressing. (2:61)|
|وَأَن تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ|
|But to fast is best for you, if you only knew. (2:184)|
|كَانَا يَأْكُلَانِ الطَّعَامَ|
|They both used to eat food (5:75)|
|وَقَالُوا لَوْ كُنَّا نَسْمَعُ أَوْ نَعْقِلُ مَا كُنَّا فِي أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ|
|And they will say, “If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze.” (67:10)|
This Arabic lesson is now finished. The next one will be insha’Allah about the moods of the imperfect tense in Arabic.
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