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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2answers
95 views

Past perfect (could've been) meaning in context

In these sentences Once the objectives of the project were determined, the initiation stage was completed. Therefore the work could have been directed to planning the execution. does the phrase "...
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1answer
75 views

It looks like 'past continuous' case but the first part is 'past perfect'

Sentence: For the moment he had shut his ears to the remoter noises and was listening to the stuff that streamed out of the telescreen (George Orwell 1984) past continuous: For the ...
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3answers
68 views

Can this case be considered a substitution for the past continuous and future continuous tense

He left the stage to prolonged applause Can you explain using a preposition 'to' in this context, is it considered as substitution for the past continuous and future continuous tenses? while ...
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1answer
3k views

Kindly find below the screenshot of the application “I was talking” about

I'm working as IT support engineer. one of my clients phoned me last week and explained to me a problem that he had on one of our applications that we support. then he sent me an email and the ...
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1answer
162 views

Which of the two is better? Past simple vs past continuous

As in the title, which of the two is better: During the last economic crisis, many families lived from hand to mouth. During the last economic crisis, many families were living from hand to ...
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2answers
945 views

Using past continuous to refer to past habits with adverbials 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. What is the difference between these two phrases? ...
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1answer
117 views

Could this sentence be considered correct?

“Those are the people who had been living in the mansion for a year.” The people are still alive. They are not living there anymore.
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2answers
466 views

Can I use past continuous with 'for'?

a. Jane had been studying for 5 hours when her parents came home. b. Jane was studying for 5 hours when her parents came home. I think 'a' is ok, but what about 'b'? As a non-native, I wonder 'b' ...
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1answer
88 views

Why use past continuous where there is no obvious interruption

I am studying past simple and past continuous and then encountered an exercise(filling the blank with the words in parentheses in correct tense) as below: Last night, while I was doing my homework, ...
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2answers
1k views

How do I convert this to past tense? “I will keep you update it on every step.”

I want to know how could I say or write this sentence in past: I will keep you update it on every step
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1answer
106 views

Should I use past continuous or past tense?

I'm not really sure which tense is more accurate when I just want to simply describe where I was working when I was in London one year ago. Should I use past continuous or past tense? I was working ...
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0answers
647 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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1answer
3k views

“…she had not been attending class” or “…she was not attending class”?

What is the difference between the following two sentences: Betty failed the final test because she had not been attending class. Betty failed the final test because she was not attending ...
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2answers
4k views

“as I thought” or “as I was thinking”

Which one is correct? She is not as friendly as I thought. She is not as friendly as I was thinking. Both the past simple and the past continuous tense refer to an action made in the past. Which ...
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2answers
29k views

What were you doing/have you been doing [does one have a negative connotation?]

I have been debating with my wife (she is American) over the correct use of each phrase. She doesn't know anything about grammar and also grew up with a lot of immigrants so she suggested I just post ...
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1answer
804 views

past continues confusion [I heard you say/saying that] [I had him do/doing that]

I'll try to keep it short this time. There are certain phrases I still don't understand how to use. For example: 'Last night when we ate dinner, I heard you say something rude' or 'I had ...
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2answers
316 views

Is the following usage of past progressive correct?

What is the difference between the past continuous and the simple past usage of these sentences? They were fighting Nazis for three days. And They fought Nazis for three days. Can ...
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2answers
133 views

past continous with present perfect

Can I use present perfect tense with past continuous tense. I have got my credit card stolen when I was shopping. I haven't got(ten) it back yet.
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1answer
5k views

“had walked” vs “was walking”

In both cases chronological order is obvious, so what is the difference? I had walked along the road when I saw Dan. So I stopped, and we had a chat. I was walking along the road when I saw Dan. So ...
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2answers
2k views

Did you think you … me somewhere before?

Did you think you .... me somewhere before? options: a) have seen b) had seen c) were seeing My approach: I am confused between "were seeing" (c) VS "have seen" (a). I think have seen ...
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1answer
8k views

… I was being! / what does it mean?

I could hardly believe how bold I was being! I got detention because a teacher said I was being contumacious ..... What does the word being here mean ? and what are the tenses in these sentences ...
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1answer
933 views

What is the difference among these: (I was wondering vs I wondered vs I had wondered) [closed]

What is the difference among these sentences: Well, there are a lot of questions that I missed on the test, but I can’t figure out why I got them wrong. I was wondering if you could explain ...
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1answer
8k views

“had talked” vs “were talking”

Would you please explain the differences between these sentences? We had talked when someone knocked at the door. We were talking when someone knocked at the door.
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3answers
16k views

'I called you yesterday' or 'I was calling you yesterday'?

Which one of these sentences are more accurate in this specific context and what the differences between both of them are? A: I was calling you yesterday about the flat you are offering B: I ...
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1answer
217 views

Simple vs continuous in the past tense and in the future tense

Even though I understand the difference between the simple and the continuous aspect of the English tense system, I sometimes struggle to understand what each of these two aspects expresses in some ...
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1answer
502 views

Past Perfect Continuous VS Past continuous [duplicate]

Do these two sentences mean the same? When I arrived, Lisa was waiting for me. When I arrived, Lisa had been waiting for me.
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1answer
77 views

Is helping verbs (is or was) necessary?

I have a few questions related to the below sentence. Are "describing" and "having" main verbs of this sentence? If so, should they be preceded with "be" (is or was) verbs? If not, what type of verbs ...
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0answers
163 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
110 views

past continous use of the word “do”

Did you do your homework while you were coming to school? Were you doing your homework while you came to school? Does it mean that in the second sentence the homework was not finished when the ...
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2answers
2k views

A question about 'must have been someone'

I am recently struggling with the grammar MUST HAVE BEEN. My question is can i say "It must have been someone stealing/ stole / who stole my wallet " I think who stole is right, but might also be ...
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1answer
72 views

“Everyone at school was looking at what I wore” - why not “Everyone at school looked at what I was wearing”?

When I was a teenager, I used to think that everyone at school was looking at me and judging what I looked like, what I wore, and how I acted. Why "everyone at school was looking at me and judging" ...
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2answers
512 views

past continuous for a short action

Things had not been the same between Julie and her fiance, David, since he accepted a job in Paris. They had known each other for almost five years, and in that time, they had never argued much. ...
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1answer
1k views

How popular is the Passive voice of Past Continuous?

Can you give an account on how often Passive voice of Past Continuous used nowadays. The room was being cleaned when I arrived. Their performance was being recorded. The son was being ...
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1answer
942 views

How to join past continous and past simple with “but”?

I'm reading about how to use "when" and "while" with past continuous and past simple tense. I quite understand about them. But there are another examples using "but" to join past continuous and past ...
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1answer
1k views

why “was” is used in Perfect past tense?

I have query that i have seen many sentences that uses Past Participle after "was". But i am little bit confused with Past continuous and Past perfect Tense. Can anyone tell me the difference?
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1answer
5k views

Simple past vs past progressive in as/while/when-clauses

I was given a link to this Q and A board by a member of English Language & Usage and this issue has been rattling around in my head for almost a day now. QUESTION by https://ell.stackexchange.com/...
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2answers
141 views

Past progressive for a finished event

It was Friday, the first day of our skiing holiday, and my friend Jason and I __________ down the mountain together. We wanted to catch the ski lift back down to our hotel. I answered had been skiing,...
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1answer
105 views

past continuous - justified?

Look at this text please: Eventually, I lowered the window of the car and he said "Could you help me?" I took the risk. He explained that while he was driving he had had a terrible argument ...
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3answers
162 views

Past continuous use for something that's accomplished

The girl said, "Oh I thought Danny was giving me his scarf because it was so special, but he gave me it because he doesn't support United any more!" Why past continuous here? Is it because it is a ...
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2answers
165 views

Maise ate / had been eating sweets all evening so it was not suprising > she didn't want any supper

On my last lesson I had a discussion with my teacher about the sentence described below. The reason was that on my grammar reference in one of my books is written that past perfect continuos can be ...
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2answers
1k views

What's the difference between “It had snowed in the night, so the bus didn't arrive.” & “It snowed in the night, so the bus didn't arrive.”?

What's the difference between It had snowed in the night, so the bus didn't arrive. It snowed in the night, so the bus didn't arrive. I think in the first sentence there is causality and ...
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2answers
14k views

Difference between (was thinking / thought / have thought / had thought)

Consider the following dialogue: A: I think we should go to China for our holiday this year. B: Sorry, what did you say? I was thinking about my work. If I replaced "was thinking" with "...
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1answer
139 views

Can I use the continuous aspect in the past and present tense?

Is the following sentence correct? "Has Sarah been watching us this entire time?" And can you say "Sarah is watching" when it comes to watching people?
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1answer
5k views

Is “What did you doing?” the wrong way to say it? [closed]

I often hear English native speakers say: What did you doing? Is that really ok to say? Isn't it supposed be: What are you doing? Or is it a contraction of other sentence?
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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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1answer
127 views

Past perfect continuous or past progressive

What is the difference in meaning between these 2 sentences: He did not answer because he had been thinking of his holidays. He did not answer because he was thinking of his holidays. I ...
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1answer
132 views

Past Continuous + Past Perfect?

Can we correct this sentence?: "When you were calling I had not had an internet connection". I've decided that Past Perfect Tense in the second part of sentence is appropriate because an incident ...
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2answers
2k views

“past continuous tense” vs “would + infinitive”

First example: Maria thought John was going to invite her to the party. Mary thought John would invite her to the party. Second example: They thought the film was going to start at 8:...
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600 views

She wasn't kissing your face

Merovingian: Oh God, my God, Persephone how could you do this, you betrayed me! Persephone: Cause and effect, my love. Merovingian: Cause? There is no cause for this, what cause? ...
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When to use past progressive for repeated/ habitual actions?

Some grammar books say that the past progressive is possible to use for repeated or habitual actions. For example: I was practising every day, three times a day. she was meeting him twice a week. ...