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Questions tagged [past-continuous]

Questions related to the past continuous or past progressive, which expresses an action that was ongoing in the past.

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drove or was driving?

Is it true that if I say "Joe got a ticket because he drove too fast", this means that Joe drove too fast as a habit and instead I should say "Joe got a ticket because he was driving too fast"? Is ...
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55 views

Why using the past continuous tense when the action has already finished?

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 ...
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“Words were different when they (lived / were living) inside of you”

“Words were different when they lived inside of you.” ― Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Shouldn't it be "...when they were living inside of you."?...
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Past Progressive + BEFORE/AFTER + Gerund

Tom Cruise was thinking of a career in the church before finding job in the movies. Tom Cruise wasn't thinking of a career in the church after finding job in the movies. Please tell me, why is ...
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weren't going vs didn't go [duplicate]

I already asked a question about “weren’t playing” vs. “didn’t play”. I’m not sure if the same rules apply in an example like this one: The weather was very bad, so we didn't go north. vs The ...
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weren't playing vs didn't play

Did your team win the football match yesterday? The weather was very bad, so we weren't playing. vs The weather was very bad, so we didn't play. Is the first one not correct? Why is it?
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past simple/continuous with a specific time

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 ...
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Equality of continuous and perfect tenses (in a certain context)

Would they be both correct and equal in the same context (just to mention the fact) if I said TODAY: (1)It has been raining all day. (2)It is raining all day. Would they be both correct and ...
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29 views

Can I use past continuous here?

A:..Then I sent you a message from the cafe to to say where I was last night. B: I didn't get any texts from you yesterday! I tried to phone you but there was no answer. I have two ...
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Past Continuous with while

The sentence: The boy stole / was stealing the apples while nobody was looking / looked. Question: Which variant is more appropriate?
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Past Simple Passive vs Past Simple with 'follow'

Here is an extract from my grammar practice book. A young man was walking through a supermarket. Suddenly he noticed that he (follow) by an old lady. As far as I understand, in that situation we ...
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Past Simple VS Past Continuous(within the period of time in the past)

Alexander Fleming became interested in the control of bacteria while he was working as a doctor during the First World War. This summer the pool worked only from June till August. I wonder, doesn't ...
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Past Continuous vs Past Simple difference in meaning

Could you, please, help me understand this dialogue from my English textbook? A: Why was Ann crying before? B: She had been training for the finals for over a week before she found out she had ...
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Is “I was wanting to know” grammatically correct? [duplicate]

Is the following sentence grammatically correct: I was wanting to know if I could sent you a link. It does not sound correct to me.
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28 views

“the thing someone did was do something” or “the thing someone did was doing something”?

Here is what I have found in Crash Course US history at 13 minute and 4 second, and it really confused me. Whereas if you are an american arguably the most important thing the leader of this era ...
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Past Simple and Past Perfect. “I had seen” or “I saw” him a few days before he left

Yesterday I saw this sentence in some test without any context: I ... (see) him a few days before he ... (leave). My answer was "I'd seen him a few days before he left", but it was wrong. Right ...
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using past continuous tense with tomorrow

What does this mean? like I wasn't dreading tomorrow enough having to give it back to him I saw this in friend's series and I don't understand it.
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Why did the author use past continuous in that sentence

I came from a scene that is more punk than the garage scene. The first concerts I was going to were punk, like at the MIROITRIE.for a year Then I went to Canada for a year Why "was going"? Why past ...
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past continuous or present perfect continuous

If I play football since I was eight years old and still I am playing football I should say I have been playing football since I was eight. But if I started playing football when I was eight and then ...
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it is possible to combine present perfect continuous and past perfect continuous in a sentence?

Can we describe a continuous action after/before another continuous action in the same sentence using different continuous tenses? For instance something like that: Before I have been reading ...
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How to express something that is happening in the future

If something is being written in the past tense, is it correct to say: He was graduating high school in June and entering college in August? How should it be stated?
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35 views

Past Perfect Continuous vs Past Continuous difference in meaning

In my grammar text book there is a sentence describing Past Perfect vs Past Perfect Continuous difference. I understand the difference between those two tenses, but there is another thing that makes ...
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Past Perfect Continuous vs Past Continuous/Past Simple

Doing a grammar task I found this: A: Did you go out last night? B: No, 1) _____(work) all day, so I 2) _____(stay) in and 3) _____(watch) TV. The key says that the only option here is 1) had been ...
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is the past continuous with a duration better than the past perfect continuous in that case?

I was looking for him for 8 hours when I have found him I had been looking for him for 8 hours when I have found him Are both sentences equivalent in meaning? I think the second one stress the ...
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I was meeting vs. I met

I was meeting some friends at a bar. I met some friends at a bar. was meeting - past continuous met - simple past In my opinion, I prefer to use the latter sentence because I don't normally hear ...
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Past Progressive and Simple Past with the Time Clause (While)

While he was taking a shower, his dogs were eating his steaks. (That is the correct sentence according to the website that I visited.) We use the past progressive with the past progressive to show ...
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meaning of combinations of “past continuous tense” with “past simple tense”

When I was cooking the food I sang songs. (past continuous + past simple) When I cooked the food, I sang songs. (past simple + past simple) When I was cooking the food I was singing songs. (past ...
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I was going to say

Joe: Y’know, I don’t think that people really appreciate their parents until they get older. I mean, at least I can say that about myself. And I think it’s true of, y’know, here in America. ...
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Why wasn't “When I was in Sharm El-Sheikh, I *have sunbathed* a lot” a good answer?

When I was in Sharm El-Sheikh, I .... a lot A) Have sunbathed B) Was sunbathing C) Would sunbathe D) Sunbathed why it can't be "have sunbathed" as verb sunbathe means to make the skin brown or ...
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is there any difference between saw or was seeing in this example?

If someone was treated by a psychiatrist, is there any difference between : He saw a psychiatrist or he was seeing a psychiatrist? Can either be used?
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past simple, past continuous and past perfect continuous

Am I correct? Yesterday lunchtime we had a bust-up. This is just stating a fact. The bust-up happened at lunchtime. Yesterday lunchtime we had been having a bust-up. This is emphasizing the ...
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“When I was born my mother WORKED / WAS WORKING as a nurse” – interrupted event or…?

When I was born my mother worked as a nurse. or When I was born my mother was working as a nurse. Is there any other difference than the job being permanent/temporary? Is this an example of an ...
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1answer
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is the past simple possible here?

This is an example from a grammar book: When I was learning to drive I was living with my parents. Is it possible to say: When I was learning to drive I lived with my parents? Usually ...
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Aspects of the past continuous

"In July she was working at MacDonald's." I am not sure which aspect of the past continuous applies in this case. Action in progress around a specific time = in July she was working there, we don't ...
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is it correct to use past simple in a moment in the past?

There is a sentence that makes me confused about using cases of past simple and past continuous. one of the past continuous definition is that it's used to describe actions happening at a moment in ...
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Can I use “Have been” with “Until” in this sentence?

My intention is to explain that I used to be stressed and depressed but then I read an article about stress relief techniques and that helped me. Is this sentence using "Have been" and "Until" ...
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is it possible to use the past continuous with before?

Is it possible to use the past continuous with before? For example: We were watching television before you arrived last night. Or is simple past the only option?
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the sun shone or the sun was shining

I would like to know which one is preferable, or are both possible? It is raining now but this morning the sun was shining brightly or it is raining now but this morning the sun shone brightly.
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How to undsestand “hence the name by which they are known and ending with the Lateran Treaty of 1929”?

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capture_of_Rome The whole sentence is: The agreements were signed in the Lateran Palace, hence the name by which they are known and ending with the Lateran ...
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Why is past continuous used instead of simple present in this general statement?

This is exactly the kind of question ELL is hoping to avoid. We don’t want to become a proofreading service, where we are bombarded with sentences or paragraphs from resumés, school essays, technical ...
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past continuous vs past perfect continuous

What is the difference between these two sentences? I took my car to the garage because it wasn't working properly. This means that at that moment my car wasn't working properly. I took my car to ...
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difference between past continuous and simple past in this case

I have another question about the use of the past continuous and simple past. These are both examples from grammar books, and I want to know why in the first example, the past continuous is used, and ...
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2answers
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I lived Vs. I was living

In 1999, I was living in Cuba. In 1999, I lived in Cuba. Do both sentences seem grammatically correct? My teacher had told that the first sentence, which is with past continuous, is incorrect. ...
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“Two years ago I studied/was working…” – difference in meaning

I would really like to know the difference between these two sentences: Two years ago I was working in New York. Two years ago I studied English in England. The way I interpret them: ...
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Past Continuous and past perfect continuous for native English speakers

According to Martin Hewing's Advanced English Grammar: The difference between past continuous and past perfect continuous is as follows: When we met Simon and Pat, they had been riding.(=we met ...
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Past SImple vs Past Continuous

While practising past tenses I have encountered a couple of confusing dialogues. A: How was your holiday? B: Awful! It __________ (rain) the whole time. The key says that the right answer is ...
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Can the past perfect be replaced by the past continuous in this case?

Someone in the news died today and the following line was used: He had been suffering from ill health throughout 2017. Is it possible to say he was suffering from ill health throughout 2017?
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Past Continuous vs Past Simple

Is the sentence "He repaired his car the whole day" grammatical or not? Can Past Simple (He repaired) be used with the whole day instead of Past Continuous (He was repairing)? And if both ...
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He was working or worked for my father in the 1990s

Tom, who was working for my father in the 1990s, is now living in Ohio. Is it correct or should it be in Past Simple? I think it is correct because it is an action which was in progress in the past ...
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The baby was sleeping or slept?

I'm having a misunderstanding regarding Past Simple and Past Prog. The baby was sleeping peacefully through the night. or The baby slept peacefully through the night. Are both work? If not, ...