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Past continuous tense

The past continuous describes actions or events in a time before now, which began in the past and is still going on at the time of speaking. In other words, it expresses an unfinished or incomplete action in the past.

For example, I was watching a TV series.

"A" has quarreled with "B" and they don't talk to each other. "C" wants them to compromise with each other. "C" runs into "B" and says,

I was talking to A this morning, and I think he feels really bad about it.

The "talking" apparently has finished, yet why the past continuous tense is used here?

  • The past continuous tense also indicates that the action took some period of time to get finished, or it was in the process when something happened. So in your sentence, "C" have realized that fact when s/he was talking with "A". It can also be "talked" if "C" realized that after finishing the talk with "A". – Tasneem ZH Mar 28 at 4:38
  • @TasneemZh, thank you for your editing of the question. But I catch you too, "'C' have realized ..." :) – Zhang Mar 28 at 4:56
  • Yours had some serious effects on me. – Tasneem ZH Mar 28 at 5:08
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I was talking to A this morning, and I think he feels really bad about it.

I talked to A this morning, and I think he feels really bad about it.

Both are fine.

The former slightly highlights the duration of the conversation you and A had. Judging from the context, you had a tough talk about a serious matter. The continuous tense is a good choice to emphasise it wasn’t a chit-chat.

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