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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3answers
62 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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1answer
27 views

Past Continuous with yesterday

I am trying to figure out if it's possible to use past continuous without specific time or interruption while talking about yesterday. Here's the situation: I want to tell my friend how I spent my day ...
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1answer
52 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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2answers
19 views

Past simple or Past perfect prgressive

which one is the correct sentence between the two and why? Before I lost my job, I was working on some important projects. or Before I lost my job, I had been working on some important projects.
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1answer
25 views

“I have seen people saying …” vs “I have seen people say…”; What is the difference?

I have heard people using both versions at times but I don't quite get the difference. I am not used to the second version and a little in doubt if it is even grammatically correct. Can you also give ...
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2answers
44 views

Past Continuous with “sit”

I just came back from school, and I was asked about my trip to school this morning (on our school bus) My intention is to say that I didn't like it because I had to sit with a bully (named John). I ...
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0answers
15 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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0answers
19 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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2answers
14k views

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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1answer
66 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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0answers
19 views

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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3answers
314 views

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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1answer
67 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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3answers
62 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 cannot think ...
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1answer
42 views

Because I played the piano or because I was playing the piano?

Here is a task in an English test: Last night my neighbors got angry because I (played / was playing) the piano. They repeatedly came to my door and knocked, but I didn't hear the knocks. Why? ...
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4answers
100 views

What is the difference between “has been” and “had been” here?

She looks as if she has been ill. vs. She looks as if she had been ill. What is the difference in the meaning between these two sentences?
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1answer
26 views

Past simple or past progressive for a duration

is it possible to write I heard some strange noises for the past two days after waking up and it scared me. I am glad I have not heard them today I was hearing some strange noises for the past ...
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2answers
85 views

What's the difference between “lived”, “have lived”, “used to live”, and “would live”?

What's the differences between the below sentences and which of them is correct or more correct? It seems that all of them have the same meaning. If it's true, then which of them is more common in ...
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1answer
581 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
26 views

Confuse between past tense and past progressive

So this is the question: Instruction: Complete the sentences. Use the past progressive in the while-clauses. Use the simple past in the when -clauses. When my best friend (call) _______ last night,...
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3answers
68 views

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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0answers
41 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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1answer
137 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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1answer
87 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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1answer
31 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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0answers
72 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
41 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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1answer
31 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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1answer
380 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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2answers
393 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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2answers
49 views

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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3answers
82 views

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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2answers
39 views

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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0answers
15 views

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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1answer
76 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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2answers
1k views

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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2answers
7k 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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1answer
27 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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2answers
47 views

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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1answer
106 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
33 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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1answer
692 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
62 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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2answers
100 views

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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1answer
35 views

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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1answer
181 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
584 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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1answer
20 views

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
5k 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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1answer
101 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 ...