What's the difference between following two sentences?

  1. We were planning to participate in Jack's wedding.
  2. We planned to participate in Jack's wedding.

Firstly, some small changes to your sentences:
1. We were planning Jack's wedding.
2. We planned Jack's wedding.

Sentence 1. is 'past continuous' (or 'past progressive'), and refers to an action (or a series of actions, like planning a wedding) 'in progress' at a time or for a length of time - 'Last month, we were planning Jack's wedding' or 'We were planning Jack's wedding for six months'.

Sentence 2. is 'past simple', and refers to a completed action (or a series of actions) in the past, whenever that was - 'We planned Jack's wedding last year'.

  • Sorry, I modified my post. We were planning to participate Jack's wedding. We planned to participate Jack's wedding. – user7970 Jun 9 '14 at 12:12
  • The basic grammar explanation (simple and continuous) remains the same whether you 'planned/were planning' or 'planned/were planning to attend'. In fact the distinction between simple and continuous forms is basically the same in all verb tenses - simple is more likely to be short(er), once/fewer times and complete, and continuous is more likely to be long(er), more times and in progress/incomplete/interrupted. There are exceptions to this general rule, though, so please be careful. – Sydney Jun 9 '14 at 20:33
  • One more small change - we probably say 'participate in' something. – Sydney Jun 9 '14 at 20:52

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