1

This question already has an answer here:

1.Around midnight, as we left the previous year behind and moved into the new year, my mom would be busy cooking for the guests. I didn't like crowds so I stayed in the living room watching the telly.

2.Around midnight, as we left the previous year behind and moved into the new year, my mom was busy cooking for the guests. I didn't like crowds so I stayed in the living room watching the telly.

3.Around midnight, as we left the previous year behind and moved into the new year, my mom cooked for the guests. I didn't like crowds so I stayed in the living room watching the telly.

Let's say the speaker was asked how they spent the new year's and they answered with one of the responses mentioned above.

How do the responses differ in meaning from one another?

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Eddie Kal, Nathan Tuggy, Varun Nair, shin Dec 5 '18 at 13:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • You say the speaker was asked how they spent the New Year (note - not year's), but that itself is ambiguous as to whether they're being asked about one specific New Year, or the "generic" case (what do they usually do at New Year?). Your first (would be busy cooking) example would only work for the second of those two scenarios. Whether to use Past Continuous (#2) or Simple Past (#3) is effectively a stylistic choice here, depending on whether you want to talk about what happened in the past, or what was happening, at some specific moment in the past. – FumbleFingers Dec 1 '18 at 16:58
  • 4
    Possible duplicate of Simple Past Vs Past Continuous Also Past Continuous vs Past Simple and probably many more. – FumbleFingers Dec 1 '18 at 17:01
  • @FumbleFingers Thank you for the answer. If you want, now that i've got an answer, I can remove the question. Should I? – Soumya Ghosh Dec 1 '18 at 18:28
  • No! Don't remove it! There probably are several other previous questions on the same subject, but the more different ones we have, the more likely it is that future visitors will be able to find one of them. That's because every different question will use different words, so there's more chance that one of them will match whatever the new querent types in for a search. And even if they don't bother checking before asking, the system itself can suggest "Earlier questions that seem to match what you're asking", so they'll get a nudge before clicking on "Post your Question". – FumbleFingers Dec 1 '18 at 18:43
  • 1
    Note that although I voted to close your question (because I think it's a duplicate), that doesn't cost you anything in terms of "reputation" here. And I see no justification for anyone downvoting your question (which would lead to loss of rep points). Anyway, I've just given you an upvote purely because you've taken the trouble to ask about site etiquette, even though the moderators here would probably say that's not a valid reason to upvote! :) – FumbleFingers Dec 1 '18 at 18:45