Questions tagged [past-continuous]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2
votes
1answer
161 views

Past Continuous vs Past Simple

Is the sentence "He repaired his car the whole day" grammatical or not? Can Past Simple (He repaired) be used with the whole day instead of Past Continuous (He was repairing)? And if both ...
2
votes
1answer
90 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

past continuous or past simple

At the dentist's: I was on time for my dentist's appointment, but the dentist was still busy with another patient, so I sat in the waiting room and read some of the old magazines lying there. All ...
2
votes
2answers
213 views

Past Indefinite or Past Continuous?

I have a simple at first sight question, but it seems confusing for some of my collegues. There is the sentence, where we need to insert Past Simple or Past Continuous, please help to fill these gaps ...
2
votes
1answer
70 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Difference between 'He always worked there ' and 'He was always working there'

Is there a difference when the adverbs 'always, continually,forever,etc..' are used with past simple and past progressive? For example : He always/ continually worked there. He was always/ ...
1
vote
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?
1
vote
1answer
107 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
75 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
18k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
573 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. ...
1
vote
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? ...
1
vote
1answer
809 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
100 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?
1
vote
1answer
59 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

is the past continuous with a duration better than the past perfect continuous in that case?

I was looking for him for 8 hours when I have found him I had been looking for him for 8 hours when I have found him Are both sentences equivalent in meaning? I think the second one stress the ...
1
vote
1answer
943 views

“Two years ago I studied/was working…” – difference in meaning

I would really like to know the difference between these two sentences: Two years ago I was working in New York. Two years ago I studied English in England. The way I interpret them: ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Past SImple vs Past Continuous

While practising past tenses I have encountered a couple of confusing dialogues. A: How was your holiday? B: Awful! It __________ (rain) the whole time. The key says that the right answer is ...
1
vote
1answer
557 views

past simple vs past continuous (Interrupted event)?

What's wrong with this sentence ? Last night ,I was being a little sleepy when my friends called me ! according to this article : FUNCTIONS OF THE PAST CONTINUOUS to describe an unfinished action ...
1
vote
1answer
163 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
38k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
6k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
78 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
141 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?
1
vote
2answers
9k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
74 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
30 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
38 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

“the thing someone did was do something” or “the thing someone did was doing something”?

Here is what I have found in Crash Course US history at 13 minute and 4 second, and it really confused me. Whereas if you are an american arguably the most important thing the leader of this era ...
1
vote
2answers
182 views

Past Perfect Continuous vs Past Continuous/Past Simple

Doing a grammar task I found this: A: Did you go out last night? B: No, 1) _____(work) all day, so I 2) _____(stay) in and 3) _____(watch) TV. The key says that the only option here is 1) had been ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Past Progressive and Simple Past with the Time Clause (While)

While he was taking a shower, his dogs were eating his steaks. (That is the correct sentence according to the website that I visited.) We use the past progressive with the past progressive to show ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

I was going to say

Joe: Y’know, I don’t think that people really appreciate their parents until they get older. I mean, at least I can say that about myself. And I think it’s true of, y’know, here in America. ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Past progressive and past simple with while

I have a confusion regarding this Grammar rule, it's all about these two examples. I'm totally confused not because it's hard, but because the two answers are supposed to be the same, but they are ...
1
vote
1answer
7k views

Is it possible to use simple past with “During the last week”?

I wanted to write a sentence about last/past week and I have doubts A1) During the last week I arrived home at 7 A2) During the last week I was arriving at 7 B1) During the past week I ...
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
202 views

Are these sentences completely different in terms of context or just matter of choice?

Sentences: To me, they convey the same context (process was interrupted by some event but 1st shows us sequence of events while 2nd shows just inevitable fact of interruption of the process) I had ...
1
vote
2answers
99 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 "...
1
vote
2answers
832 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' ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Did vs was doing vs had done vs had been doing

I worked a teacher before but now I work a translator. What would be the slight difference if, instead of worked, we say was working, had worked, had been working? What does each tense mean and ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
6k 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? ...
1
vote
1answer
122 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.
1
vote
1answer
134 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

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. ...
1
vote
2answers
715 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? Persephone: What ...
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
111 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.