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I'm having a misunderstanding regarding Past Simple and Past Prog.

The baby was sleeping peacefully through the night.

or

The baby slept peacefully through the night.

Are both work? If not, what is the difference and how can I differentiate between those tenses regarding these types of questions?

Also, is it correct to say:

She has worn short hair for two years.

it is a strange expression for me.

  • 1
    More usual variants would be She has worn her hair short for two years. or She has been wearing her hair short for two years. Compare He drinks his tea tepid. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 29 '17 at 18:35
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If you are simply describing a single thing (the baby sleeping), then you would use

The baby slept peacefully through the night.

However, if you are going on to say something happened while the baby was sleeping, then you would use the other

The baby was sleeping peacefully through the night when her parents accidentally locked themselves out.

About your second question, it's perfectly grammatical (and doesn't sound crazy) to say

She has worn short hair for two years.

Using "worn" to describe a hair style sounds a bit old (like 1950's old) to me and this isn't the most common way to say this. If I had a friend in this situation, I would say

She has had short hair for two years.

or possibly

She has kept her hair short for two years.

  • With respect to "1950's old", there are plenty of post-2000 attestations. google.com/… – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 29 '17 at 18:55
  • I didn't say it isn't used any more (many people from the 1950s are still alive and speaking) but I believe it would be more rare for someone my age or younger would choose to say it that way. – farnsy Dec 29 '17 at 19:00
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Both of the sentences about babies are correct, but they mean slightly different things. The former (... was sleeping...) suggests that something happened (or could have happened) and caused a change in the baby's state. Example:

The baby was sleeping peacefully through the night until a thunderstorm woke her.

The latter sentence means that the baby did sleep peacefully through the entire night. No interruptions, no changes of state.

The baby slept peacefully through the night. I guess the thunderstorm didn't bother her.

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