We use the past continuous to talk about actions that were in progress not finished at a specific moment in the past.
We often use the past continuous at the beginning of a story to describe the situation. We use the past simple for completed actions in the past , and we use the past continuous for actions in progress not finished in the past.
The past continuous describes a longer action or situation and the past simple describes a shorter action or event. Do the exercises.
Exercises Explanation Exercises: 1 2 3. Exercise 1 Choose the correct past continuous and past simple forms to complete the sentences below.
At midday they were still working. Or by a simple past sentence : They were swimming when I saw them.
When she arrived , they were still working. It was getting dark, and I was walking fast.
Past simple and continuous tense - PDF exercises
When I met Susan she was having a drink at a terrace with a friend. The short action in past simple often interrupts the longer action in past continuous. He was playing football when he broke her arm. When I went to bed, it was raining.
Past Simple and Past Continuous - English grammar tutorial video lesson
We use the past simple for completed actions that happened one after the other. Compare: When he arrived , she was having a shower.
The action of having a shower started before he arrived When he arrived , she had a shower. Exercises: 1 2 3.
Related tests: Past simple — negatives and questions.