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 was working while I was studying at college

I was working while I was studying at college, is it correct? And how to tell about past actions for example: 'In college I had a subject 'Web design' where I was making a static web-page', is it ...
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108 views

Past Perfect Continuous vs Past Simple

My teacher says that it's not correct to answer the test "How long (rain) yesterday?" as "How long did it rain yesterday?" She says there is only one way to do the problem with "how long" in the past ...
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68 views

past simple and past continuous

1) Two years ago I was working in New York 2) Two years ago I studied in England Both examples are from English grammar books. Could somebody explain to me why the past continuous is used in the ...
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62 views

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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Why is it “She wrote articles” and not “she has written” or “she was writing”?

Why is the past simple and not the present perfect used in the following context? One day, Jack told Anne about John’s life in Canada. She wrote articles for her school Internet magazine. And she ...
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past simple and continuous

"Nero played music while Rome was burning." I just copied it from one English workbook for primary school. If it was watched, saw... I would take it as correct. This really bothers me, I cannot think ...
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62 views

Past simple or past continuous?

1 Being students, they didn't have much money and they usually worked as waiters at weekends. Why do we need to use the past simple? 2 While they were studying, they were working as waiters at ...
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18 views

Past continous adverb placement

In the phrase: The stock scandal was extremely damaging to his company's reputation. What is the verb tense? I think "was damaging" is past continuous and "extremely" is an adverb modifying "...
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538 views

past habits with adverbs of frequency?

Can we use past continuous tense to refer a past habit with adverbs of frequency words? For example: He was going for a morning walk every day.
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Past tense and simultaneous events: do you use two Past Progressive or two Past Simple?

I was told that for two simultaneous events occurring in the past, you should use Past Progressive, such as: "While I was setting the table, she was cooking dinner." But that two Past Simple ...
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25 views

Tense-Usage: Past simple/ Past perfect/ Present Perfect + Until now?

Which tense should I use with the expression until now? I've been feeling lonely... until now (as I've met you) I'd been feeling lonely... until now (as I've met you) I was feeling lonely....
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27 views

In which tense is more common to use in this context?

I have a two tenses / ways to express my situation but I'm not sure what's more natural. I rushed / was rushing to the class, and when I arrived I found that nobody is there. "I rushed to the ...
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136 views

Difference between Past continuous and Past perfect continuous

In these following sentences, which one is grammatically correct? They were playing football since 10 o'clock. They had been playing football since 10 o'clock. According to this reference ...
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319 views

doubt between Past Continuous and Past Simple

In the book English Grammar In Use by Raymond Murphy they gave the example for Past Continuous - ´Today Helen is wearing a skirt. Yesterday she was wearing trousers´. Please explain to me why it isn´t ...
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43 views

The difference between Past Simple vs Past Continuous vs Used to & every day

Which tense should I use if I was on holidays which lasted 2 weeks and during that time I rode a bike every day? It was a great time because I rode a bike every day. It was a great time ...
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Before the party: Question about the past perfect continuous tense

I am trying to understand better the correct way to use the past perfect continuous tense. In particular, what is the difference between: Before the party, he had been telling everyone how happy he ...
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What is the difference in meaning between the grammar structure “it is nice doing something” and “it is nice to be doing something”?

What is the differnce in meaning between the following sentences? It is nice working with John. It is nice to be working with John.
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was or did? What do I need to use?

I was reading poetry. or I did reading poetry. What the option is right and why?
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The difference between the past simple and the past continuous in context [duplicate]

Tell me please the difference in meaning between the following sentences. I watched TV while Kate did the dishes. I was watching while Kate was doing the dishes. Help me please to see the ...
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72 views

Past simple or past coninuous?

I Need to prove my teacher wrong. We had an English test and there was this one task where we had to put the verbs in the right past tense (past simple or past continuous). So the sentence was: ...
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Past Continuous with Present Perfect

Although I know the rules of PC and PP usage, I want to ask if that combination of tenses is okay. Can I use PC and PP together here? You remember, I was writing an essay [1] on my computer and I ...
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3k views

What is the difference between “he was saying”, “he says” and “he said”?

Are there any shades of meaning between the use of the past continuous, present simple and past simple in the following sentences? He was saying that he is going to leave soon. He says that he ...
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22 views

Past continuous and simple past

Yesterday Sue was walking along the road when she met James. He ......... (go) to the station to catch a train and he was carrying a bag. They stopped to talk for a few minutes. Which one is correct ,...
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Should you use a plain/continuous verb after a past continuous one? E.g. 'I was feeling the fear rise/rising up…'

As an example to illustrate my question: I was feeling the fear rise up, trying to stop me, when... I was feeling the fear rising up, trying to stop me, when... I'm not sure what this type of ...
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97 views

“spied” vs “was spying”

I'm studying Barron's 504 absolutely essential words and came across this sentence: "When the bank guard spied the sinister-looking customer, he drew his gun" but it seems odd to me..we are ...
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2answers
29 views

past simple vs past progressive

Yesterday Sue ____________ (walk) down the street when she met James. He was going to the station to catch a train, and he was carrying a bag. They stopped to talk for a few minutes. The correct ...
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369 views

“where did you sit” vs. “where were you sitting”

I'm a little confused about the difference between this two sentences. Can you explain the exact meaning and all differences between this two? Where did you sit last section? Where were you ...
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1answer
48 views

difference between past simple and past continuous - when I called her

When I called her, she was studying. I know what it means. When I called her, she studied. But does the second sentence mean she started studying when I called her?
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usage of 'while' and 'when'

I met many interesting people while I was living in Vancouver. Can I change the sentence above to the sentences below? Do they have slightly different meanings? I met many interesting people when ...
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past simple and past continuous - that summer

He was staying in Rome that summer. He stayed in Rome that summer. Can I use the two sentences above interchangeably? Or do they have slightly different meanings?
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127 views

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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2answers
193 views

Past tenses of Scuba-diving

Are these two sentences correct? A. Past continuous: We were mainly Scuba-Diving while we were there. B. Past Simple: Last week we Scuba-dove?
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Which tense should be used in this situation?

I am confused about what tense I should use in this situation. He ______ (can) picture his brother's face more clearly now, because he had saved the life of a fourteen-year-old boy, who remarkably ...
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2answers
4k views

“what was going on” VS “what has been going on”

Sentences: What was going on in my absence. What has been going on in my absence. This is a task on translating. There is no other context. I want to kno what is the difference. The ...
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76 views

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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5k views

keep telling / been telling / telling

If a person or thing( e.g. voicemail) keeps repeating something, or telling me the same thing for a specific time period (e.g. an argument, discussion etc.), which one of the above do I have to use? ...
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61 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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1answer
210 views

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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55 views

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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53 views

“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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227 views

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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1k views

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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26 views

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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34 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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82 views

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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163 views

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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51 views

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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2k views

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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214 views

Can the use of the Past (Simple, Continuous) be ever considered correct with “in/for the past few+time”

I know that it's a norm to use Present Perfect (Continuous) with "in/for the past few + time" I have been staying with my parents for the last few days. I have learnt a lot of new words in the last ...