I was driving too fast last night.

I drove too fast last night.

I want to know if the past simple and continuous can both be used in this case, because usually the past continuous is used for actions occurring at a specific time, but the past simple sounds good to me.

1 Answer 1


You can use both in this case, partly because "last night" is not a terribly specific time. There are other circumstances in which either tense can be used, but that is one factor.

  • I am agree witt SamBC. That's used as adjective in that sentence. Adjective of time.
    – Saurabh
    Mar 8, 2019 at 12:17
  • could you give some examples of these circumstances?
    – anouk
    Mar 8, 2019 at 14:59
  • Well, it's actually true that you can use both in a great deal of circumstances. Mostly you need the progressive if you're taking about something else that happened while you were doing whatever, and the simple for general statements about the past ("I was on my school debating team") actions where using the progressive will make people think you are going to say more ("I went to work yesterday" rather than "I was going to work yesterday" - the latter sounds like you're going to say something that happened on the journey or say that you didn't, in the end, go to work).
    – SamBC
    Mar 8, 2019 at 15:20
  • Some of the situations in which you can't use the progressive have the present or past perfect as alternatives, mind you.
    – SamBC
    Mar 8, 2019 at 15:20
  • @SamBC Could you give an example of when not to use the progressive, please, just to make sure I understand what you mean?
    – anouk
    Mar 8, 2019 at 17:38

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