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Having spent the whole day listening to the English lectures, focused on many interesting topics, I felt like I had (teacher: past continuous only - was having))the time of my life. I got totally swept up in them and wished there were more to come.

Here my teacher suggests that I use past continuous and says the past simple would be wrong. I agree that past continuous is a better choice here. But, as far as I know, I could use the past simple as well if I looked at the "situation" as a fact?

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    Because you've included felt like, the strong implication is you didn't really have the time of your life (it only seemed that way to you at the time). This remains the case whether you use Past Simple or Continuous, but neither of them really work for me because having spent the day... implies the current "narrative time" is somewhen after having listened to the lectures. So I think perhaps you need to backshift the reference with Past Perfect I felt like I had had [a great time] (or maybe ...like I had been having...). Exactly when did you feel like that? – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 7 '17 at 17:22
  • Either simple past or past progressive is grammatical. – green_ideas Jan 8 '17 at 14:19
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If you had that good feeling while you were listening, you'd use "was having". If you experienced the good feeling after you were done listening for the day, you'd use "had". The last sentence in your quote about getting swept up suggests that your positive feeling came while you were in the process of listening, so I agree with your teacher. (The progressive "-ing" aspect generally does imply a process that takes time to play out, rather than a simple event.)

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