Someone asks

How long did you work there?

  1. I worked there for two years

  2. I was working there for two years

Do you agree that 2 is natural as long as our intention is to emphasize the length of time?

  • 2
    Please don't use that word natural. It can be inaccurate. It's not about length. I'm working for two hours today. PAST: I was working for two hours today. It emphasizes the activity versus a description of past, finished thing. This question has been answered here many times.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 27 at 18:26
  • Look here point 4 grammarly.com/blog/past-continuous-tense/…
    – Bob
    Commented Feb 27 at 18:35
  • Yes, sure, BUT: the main difference between I was working and I worked is NOT the adverbs of time in point 4. The difference is in the meaning of the tenses. All those time expressions can go with simple past as well...
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 27 at 18:41
  • 3
    Look at the way "Someone" asked "How long did you work there?" and reply using the same tense: "I worked there for 2 years." Asking "How long were you working there" suggests a more detailed discussion involving other events that happened. Commented Feb 27 at 19:19
  • 1
    "Hey Bob, so, how long were you working there?" Just because the speaker used an unnecessarily complex verb form is no reason why you should "endorse" it by doing the same. Bob's most natural reply is probably almost always "I worked there for two years!" As ever, I maintain that learners consistently overuse complex verb forms! Commented Feb 27 at 19:45


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