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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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I worked/was working late at the office

Sarah usually returns home from work at 6:00 pm, but this time and the previous time, she came home late. As a result, she and John had the following conversation at 11:00 pm: Dialog #1: John: "...
prof1589's user avatar
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I had been/was working late because my boss had assigned

Sarah and John live together. Sarah leaves her car parked at work and takes a taxi home. After she has arrived home, John returns from work. He first checks the garage and then finds Sarah in the ...
prof1589's user avatar
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2 votes
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can I say ' Baz has just seen a wreck and. he was swimming towards it '?

Is it correct to use present perfect 'yet or just' with past continuous in the same sentence?? Or I have to use present continuous?? ' Baz has just seen a wreck he is swimming towards it' ??
Hind Mohammed Hussain's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
22 views

Using Past Cont instead of Past Perf Cont

I have the sentence: "The youngsters had been playing in the backyard of the home, digging in the mud, when they found something unusual just below the surface." How would the meaning here ...
hangman's user avatar
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We had been / were waiting for an hour

We were waiting for an hour. We had been waiting for an hour when she finally came. we were waiting for an hour when she finally came. what's the difference in these sentences?
hwkal's user avatar
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Is the past continuous wrong in "I was working for 2 hours"?

Basically, I asked two teachers about this sentence "I was working for 2 hours". One told that it is incorrect because the past continuous needs some additional context like "I was ...
Bob's user avatar
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Is it correct to avoid mentioning any additional events with the past continuous?

Is it correct to say "That evening I was doing chemistry for 90 minutes." without adding any actions occured during that period (while someone was doing something or did something - these ...
hangman's user avatar
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Past continuous or past perfect continuous

I read the difference in a site and really makes me confused. Is it true? Past continuous vs. past perfect continuous tense Both of these can show a past action interrupted by another action. However, ...
fatemeh khayat's user avatar
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The past continuous with an anchor

1 I played yesterday 2 I was playing yesterday We use 1 when we refer to what we did we do not need to add anything to 1 to be correct. When it comes to 2 when it's on its own then it's grammaticlly ...
train bee 282's user avatar
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1 answer
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Past simple and continuous.88

When I ask my friend about their previous day I could say What did you do yesterday? And he could answer I played, watched and ate. Could I say : What were you doing yesterday? And he answers I was ...
train bee 282's user avatar
1 vote
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Past simple vs continuous m

I have studied a lot about the past simple and continuous. I know that we use the past simple when we state a fact and that the continuous is used to create the background. My question is I hear that ...
train bee 282's user avatar
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Past simple and continuous time

My teacher told me that when I just want to state a fact and I don't intend to make any store then I'm only allowed to use the past simple and not the past continuous For instance I worked there for ...
train bee 282's user avatar
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Past continuous with long actions

When I want to emphasize a fact about my past, it's a lot more natural to say I played tennis for 10 years I was playing tennis for 10 years When I tell a story it's not so important any more When I ...
train bee 282's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
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How to use the past continuous [duplicate]

I worked there for two months When it comes to this sentence there is no Reason to use the past continuous unless i want to emphasize the lenght, right? I went to school when I was little Is it ...
train bee 282's user avatar
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1 answer
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The use of past continuous

I know that we use past simple for repeated actions for instance: 'when I was little I went to that school' or 'I worked in that firm for three years' and saying 'I was working in that firm for three ...
train bee 282's user avatar
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Is there any difference between past continuous + past simple and past perfect continuous + past simple?

Compare: We were watching a film when the power went out. We had been watching a film when the power went out. Can you see any difference in meaning?
Kyamond's user avatar
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Have you been learning French since you were a kid? ---> in the past

If the person you're talking about or your interlocutor is alive and still learning a language, you can say: Have you been learning French since you were a kid? My brother has been learning Italian ...
IlyaTretyakov's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
263 views

Past Perfect vs Past Continuous

which one of these sentences is more suitable, if I need to use one of them in a self-introduction? I think both are fine as in the first we emphasize the duration and in the second the result. For ...
Roro's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is " advertise" ok in this case?

The first time I heard about you was on his blog . At this time he was advertising for a concert promoting the new release of your record. I dont know if my verb to advertise is ok in this case and if ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
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What does it mean "The interruption of an action in progress can be another action in progress."?

I didn't understand the exact meaning of this paragraph, could you explain it? The interruption of an action in progress can be another action in progress.       While I was trying to fall asleep in ...
Kaveh Behnia 's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
66 views

Strange present perfect continuous here?

In The Jam's song, "Smither's Jones", there is a sentence [in bold] "Good Morning Smithers-Jones How's the wife and home? Did you get the car you've been looking for? Did you get the ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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"I wasn't listening to what the teacher was saying"? "I didn't listen to what the teacher was saying"?

We often avoid repeating the continuous form, do we? Like you say What do you think you are doing? instead of What are you thinking you are doing? How about the following sentences? I wasn't ...
kuwabara's user avatar
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Can we change places of the past simple and past continuous? Is it always idiomatic?

Can we change places of the past simple and past continuous? Is it always idiomatic? I was walking home when I met Dan. I met Dan when I was walking home. When I met Dan, I was walking home. When I ...
Sergei's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
195 views

Simple Past and Past Progressive - both possible in cases with defined period of time - Thomson (1986) says it should be Simple Past

I believe that the past progressive tense can be used with defined periods of time. However, A Practical English Grammar (A.J. Thomson, 1986) says that the simple past tense is used for well-defined ...
JoHKa's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
42 views

Is the tense used here correct?

Yesterday, I was wearing black clothes at work, so everybody kept asking me if anyone has just passed away. My question is about the past continuous of "wear". Somebody told me It should be ...
Shahrooz's user avatar
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2 answers
34 views

what is the difference between the past progressive form and simple past form in this sentence?

What is the difference between the past progressive form and simple past form in this sentence? He purchased it at ten times the price the owner was asking and carefully hid it in his house. If I ...
Joy Kim's user avatar
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1 answer
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Backshifted Past Perfect

He claimed that he had been badly treated when he was shopping. Is it possible to say 2 or 3, ie to backshift the verb in the subordinate clause: He claimed that he had been badly treated when he ...
ForOU's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
71 views

What is the difference between Past Simple and Past Continuous for actions that are spread over time?

There are actions that are spread over time, to snore or to play tennis for example. For me it is not always clear should I use Past Simple or Past Continuous for such actions. For me it is absolutely ...
user341's user avatar
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2 answers
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How to answer this question

As soon as he …………….. (get) under the shower, the doorbell …………….. (ring) i was thinking to use past continues on the 'ring' but he go to the shower first. so I though to use past continues on the '...
Rifpan Afriansyah's user avatar
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1 answer
236 views

Tense for events that went on over the same period of past time

My textbook says: When we talk about two events or activities that went on over the same period of past time, we can often use the past continuous or the past simple for both . . . However, it doesn’...
Azat Khabibulin's user avatar
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What were you doing all day yestarday? / What did you do all day yestarday?

What were you doing all day yesterday? vs What did you do all day yesterday? If I understand right, both sentences are correct but there are some differencies in their meaning. We use Past ...
Sergei's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
33 views

Why we can not use past progressive instead of past simple in this example?

In the example below, I saw the writer used "when" at the beginning of the sentence and as I thought that going closer to the animal was the background and then noticing the plastic yoghurt ...
Sunflower's user avatar
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1 answer
79 views

I picked up the letter that was lying on the floor. Does it sound all right?

Here's my context: I entered the room and I saw a big heap of letters on the desk. One of them had fallen on the floor. I picked up the letter lying on the floor. / I picked up the letter that was ...
Let's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
140 views

"I was woking for five hours when..." vs. "I had been working for five hours when..."

Can you please tell me if there is any difference in meaning between the past continuous and the past perfect continuous in the sentences below? I was working for five hours when the light went out. ...
Dmytro O'Hope's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

What is the difference between "was standing" vs "stood"? (Especially in the context of writing a formal report about past data)

Which one is correct and what is the difference between them? 1 The amount of sales was standing at $10000 in 1990. 2 The amount of sales stood at $10000 in 1990. For example, consider this ...
alireza's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
55 views

Past Simple for single events

I am trying to understand what meaning Past Simple carries when it's combined with a period of time. (compared to Past Continuous) Yesterday I stayed home because it was raining As I understand, ...
Mr. Past Progressive's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
51 views

Regular actions in English (past simple/cont/would/context)

I was depressed for a month. When I was trying to beat my depression, I went to the cinema, I spent time outside, I learned new skills and worked out I want the 4 actions in bold to sound as if they ...
Mr. Past Progressive's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
93 views

Is there a nuance of difference between "I lied" and "I was lying"?

Can you please tell me if there is a nuance of difference between I lied and I was lying? For example: When I said that I was going to go home, I lied. When I said that I was going to go home, I was ...
Dmytro O'Hope's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
132 views

Difference between simple past and past progressive

When you remember about an event and refer it, would you use simple past or past progressive? For example: Yesterday I went to a rock concert. I liked the last song very much. Everyone was singing ...
Nigutumok's user avatar
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1 answer
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Finally we found the path we [looked for] / [were looking for]

If two events followed one after the other, I would use the Perfect Continuous: Finally we found the path we had been looking for. But, if some time have passed after the first event, I could use ...
Inversus's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
50 views

Why we use past perfect continuous instead of past continuous in these 2 examples?

As you see in these below examples, they used past perfect continuous, but I thought it should be past continuous because they are both in shorter periods and didn't emphasize duration. And even in ...
Sunflower's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
695 views

Perfect fit for a grammatical error

Yesterday, I had an exam in which this objective type question was asked. Select the most appropriate option that can substitute the underlined segment in the given sentence. She wished she __ ...
Sudhir Sharma's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
243 views

Even when we were children, out parents _______ family problems with us||put the correct form of discuss

I had an English test this morning and after my teacher graded it I was surprised that I had this question wrong. I filled the blank with were discussing and I know that for a fact that sounds, at ...
Helixglich's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
723 views

I intended vs I was intending

To my ear I intended to and I was intending to sound identical in meaning. Probably any difference would stem from a difference in the present tense: I intend to vs I am intending to. This reminds me ...
Ra.'s user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
287 views

"While + Past Simple" or "While + Past Continuous"

Question : Last night, while they (sleep), a burglar broke into their house. Answer A : Last night, while they slept, a burglar broke into their house. Or Answer B : Last night, while they was ...
Ko Naing's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
33 views

"have just tried to turn it on" vs "was just trying to turn it on"

The TV won’t work. I have just tried to turn it on, but I couldn’t. The TV won’t work. I was just trying to turn it on, but I couldn’t. I'm seeing NGram Past Continuous is used, not Present Perfect. ...
Sergei's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
28 views

Joe was fighting with Mary

Dad got home and saw his son Joe and his daughter, Mary, were taking a time-out (punishment). He asked Mom, "What's the matter?" I know it is OK for Mom to say "Joe fought with Mary&...
Stephen's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
26 views

Correct use of "have been" [closed]

Would it be correct to say "Since I have been reading this book, I have been learning so much" or "Since I have been reading this book, I have learned so much"
Tom 's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
2k views

"I have been talking" vs "I was talking"

May you explain me with some clear examples, what is the difference between using "I have been talking" vs "I was talking"? I heard this sentence during an interview when he was ...
GoodMan's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
67 views

Ways to convey Imperfectiveness in English? [closed]

How did you spend last year? I (build) my house I want to convey the idea that I was occupied with building my house, but I do not want to state that I succesfully finished it. Obviously, the ...
Mr. Past Progressive's user avatar

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