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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #97911: Past Simple or Past Continuous
Past Simple or Past Continuous
- Used when talking about something that happened in the past at a specific time. The actions are now finished:
Tom and Mary visited me last Saturday.
- For a duration in the past:
I lived in Russia for 2 years.
- When showing habits in the past:
When I was a child I rode a bike every day.
- It is also used for past facts or generalizations:
Tamara was a very lazy girl when she attended school.
- When talking about a series of completed actions in the past:
I ate dinner, left home and visited them.
- Used when talking about an action that was happening before. To show that a longer action in the past was interrupted by another action ( past simple ):
While I was vacuuming my house, the telephone rang.
- When describing an action in progress at a precise moment in the past:
At 11 o'clock yesterday, I was watching TV.
- For two actions when they were happening at the same time:
I was writing a report while she was playing the piano.
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