Questions tagged [past-continuous]

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

31 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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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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What is more natural for describing last night's actions, past simple or progressive?

— What did you do last night? — I watched YouTube. And what about you? — I met up with a friend and we watched a movie. — And what did you do before the meeting? — I roller-skated. My textbook says ...
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Past Continuous + Past Simple

If two actions were happening at the same time, we can use both Past Simple + Past Simple and Past Simple + Past Continuous or conversely While he was having his breakfast, I was reading the ...
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34 views

Past perfect continuous for continuing events in the past

My Cambridge Dictionary's grammar section contains the following explanation about the past perfect continuous tense: Continuing events in the past We use the past perfect continuous to talk about ...
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44 views

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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315 views

Past continuous with until recently

I saw this sentence Until recently I was playing in the Jerry spider gang. In fact I had been with them for 15 years we needed to stop Is the first sentence correct grammatically , I find it ...
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1answer
98 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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19 views

Can I use Simple Past in a subordinate clause with “while” when the main clause is in the Past Progressive?

I was reading while she slept. Or should it necessarily be "I was reading while she was sleeping" or "I read while she slept"? Can I use the Simple Past in a subordinate clause ...
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1answer
34 views

Usage of “Had been” and “Used to”

Are this two tenses convenient to use for the same purpose, for the event in the past that began, lasted and finished?
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75 views

didn't pay attention vs wasn't paying attention

As I understand, following sentences have the same meaning, haven't they? There is only a small difference that the first one says about the fact (I didn’t pay attention), but the second one says ...
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22 views

past simple and past continuous in this context

which one is correct? "when I got the job offer I was still working in my old company, which I'd worked for 7 years" "when I got the job offer I still worked in my old company, which I'...
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12 views

Questions regarding the differences between simple and progressive past

I have a few sentences in which I don't know which tense to use. In the first sentence, I want to describe how a zoom meeting ended, but everybody stayed. So should I say: I saw that everybody was ...
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1answer
43 views

Is there any difference in meaning between the past simple and the past continuous when used before “till” or “until”?

Could you tell me if there is any difference in meaning between the past simple and the past continuous when used before till? For example: I worked till midnight and then went to bed. I was working ...
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3answers
250 views

Is it gramatically correct to ask “what were you doing this summer?”

I was asked few times on my English classes "what were you doing this summer?". And now I'm wondering if it's correct to ask that question like that? As far as I know Past Continuous is used ...
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118 views

“we left the house that day” or “we were leaving the house that day”

Which of these are correct? It was cold when we left the house that day, and a light snow was falling. It was cold when we were leaving the house that day, and a light snow was falling.
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78 views

“I was working for a long time before…” vs. “I had been working for a long time before…”

Could you tell me if there is any difference in meaning between I was working for a long time before... and I had been working for a long time before...? For example: I was working for a long time ...
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14 views

What is wrong in

Question: Does the following sentence use the correct verbs? Yesterday, I was being hungry, so I bought food. Answer: The first verb should not be progressive. I don't understand the error. If I say I ...
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18 views

Past Simple/Continuous with specific time

I missed my literature class today and I am calling my friend to find out what they were discussing (or discussed?) in class. My goal (as a speaker) is to find out what was in class today, so I can ...
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22 views

Past Continuous vs Past Simple (limited timeframe)

A friend of mine was taking her English exam the other day (she is a chemistry student) and she had to talk about her work in a laboratory (they have to do a lab-project for 2 weeks every semester) ...
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322 views

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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1answer
85 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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1answer
79 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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34 views

Is the answer optional (Past Simple vs Past Continious)?

I have the sentence. But she needn't have worried because on the day of the wedding (look) very nice indeed. "Looked" shows a finished period in the past and the result has no connection with the ...
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1answer
63 views

Correctly conecting two actions (Gerund)?

I want to say that someone put her baby to sleep and was reading her book while she was sitting in the sitting room. The Continuous can't be followed by the Gerund. So, I can't say: His wife, who ...
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403 views

imperfective vs perfective in English (I was doing/ I did)?

I tend to use the continuous form a lot for situations that happened in the near past as it brings my mind closer to the actual action that was performed. I'm still not sure if this is grammatically ...
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671 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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1answer
1k views

What should I use (Past perfect or Past Simple)

I have the following sentences. And must choose on of the tences (Past Simple, Past Perfect, Past Continuos, Past Perfect Continuos): Sally Deedes was walking home late one night. She (be) to a ...
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36 views

Usage of past continues tense in describing evidences

I wrote the following sentence to describe my evidence of how some users used a system. They first showed difficulties in discriminating phonemes, especially short vowels, as they frequently ...
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3answers
87 views

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 ...
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3answers
887 views

Difference between Went vs Was going

What is the correct alternative for the following sentence? When he lived in California, he____(went, was going to) to the cinema once a week.
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54 views

Are the past continuous and and the past perfect continuous interchangeable in certain contexts?

Could you tell me if the past continuous and and the past perfect continuous are interchangeable in certain context? For example: Before I moved to the countryside I was living in the city for ...