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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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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Past Simple and Past Perfect. “I had seen” or “I saw” him a few days before he left

Yesterday I saw this sentence in some test without any context: I ... (see) him a few days before he ... (leave). My answer was "I'd seen him a few days before he left", but it was wrong. Right ...
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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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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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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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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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The baby was sleeping or slept?

I'm having a misunderstanding regarding Past Simple and Past Prog. The baby was sleeping peacefully through the night. or The baby slept peacefully through the night. Are both work? If not, ...
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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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40 views

Aspects of the past continuous

"In July she was working at MacDonald's." I am not sure which aspect of the past continuous applies in this case. Action in progress around a specific time = in July she was working there, we don't ...
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is the past simple possible here?

This is an example from a grammar book: When I was learning to drive I was living with my parents. Is it possible to say: When I was learning to drive I lived with my parents? Usually ...
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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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“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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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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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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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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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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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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is there any difference between saw or was seeing in this example?

If someone was treated by a psychiatrist, is there any difference between : He saw a psychiatrist or he was seeing a psychiatrist? Can either be used?
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is it correct to use past simple in a moment in the past?

There is a sentence that makes me confused about using cases of past simple and past continuous. one of the past continuous definition is that it's used to describe actions happening at a moment in ...
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147 views

How to undsestand “hence the name by which they are known and ending with the Lateran Treaty of 1929”?

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capture_of_Rome The whole sentence is: The agreements were signed in the Lateran Palace, hence the name by which they are known and ending with the Lateran ...
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Why is past continuous used instead of simple present in this general statement?

This is exactly the kind of question ELL is hoping to avoid. We don’t want to become a proofreading service, where we are bombarded with sentences or paragraphs from resumés, school essays, technical ...
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967 views

He was working or worked for my father in the 1990s

Tom, who was working for my father in the 1990s, is now living in Ohio. Is it correct or should it be in Past Simple? I think it is correct because it is an action which was in progress in the past ...
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286 views

Why did the translator of Kafka's book “metamorphosis” choose past simple in the beginning of “the metamorphosis”?

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head ...
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559 views

Expression “keep [verb]ing” in past continuous

Let us take the following sentence: You keep saying that I'm too young! What is the grammatical equivalent in the past continuous? Given that "keep" is a verb, it should be okay to conjugate it, ...
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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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114 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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“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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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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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 looked for by ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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using past continuous tense with tomorrow

What does this mean? like I wasn't dreading tomorrow enough having to give it back to him I saw this in friend's series and I don't understand it.
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51 views

past continuous or present perfect continuous

If I play football since I was eight years old and still I am playing football I should say I have been playing football since I was eight. But if I started playing football when I was eight and then ...
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the sun shone or the sun was shining

I would like to know which one is preferable, or are both possible? It is raining now but this morning the sun was shining brightly or it is raining now but this morning the sun shone brightly.
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past continuous vs past perfect continuous

What is the difference between these two sentences? I took my car to the garage because it wasn't working properly. This means that at that moment my car wasn't working properly. I took my car to ...
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difference between past continuous and simple past in this case

I have another question about the use of the past continuous and simple past. These are both examples from grammar books, and I want to know why in the first example, the past continuous is used, and ...
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63 views

Can the past perfect be replaced by the past continuous in this case?

Someone in the news died today and the following line was used: He had been suffering from ill health throughout 2017. Is it possible to say he was suffering from ill health throughout 2017?
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Past progressive or past simple with still

He believed that the modern inhabitants still kept/were still keeping themselves apart from the rest of mankind for the very same reason. I chose were still keeping because of still, because if you ...
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Present perfect continuous and past continuous

A:"This lesson was so boring, the teacher has been talking/was talking all the time. B: "How would you know, you have been sleeping/were sleeping all the time". If the lesson had just finished and ...
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Past simple or countinuous

In this example: "Being students, they didn't have much money and they worked as waiters at weekends" We can use in this example only "didn't have" because in this case it means "Possession", right? ...
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“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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141 views

simple past continuous combined with “for”

I am going to make up three sentences below. (1) Three weeks ago, I was writing a short essay for five days. (2) John was scoring a lot of goals for many years. (3) During Tim's one-week stay in my ...
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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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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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2k views

past or past continuous with exact time period

They were playing(play) football yesterday from 13:00 to 15:00. They played(play) football yesterday from 13:00 to 15:00. At 8.30am today I was driving(drive) to work. At 8.30am today I drove(drive)...
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Is this past progressive sentence?

Are the following sentences actually in past progressive? She was sleeping on the couch. The dog was barking.