Simple Past
or
Past Continuous



Simple Past or Past Continuous :



The simple past tense is used when we are talking about an action that is complete while the past continuous tense is used when we are talking about an action that was going on for some time.

For example :

1. I was sleeping soundly, but when the alarm rang, I woke up immediately.

In the above sentence, the action of sleeping was going on for some time, while the actions of ringing and waking up are completed.

We use the simple past tense and the past continuous tense together in a sentence when we talk about an action that was going on when another action took place.

For example :

2. Grandmother was telling us a story when Birju walked into the room.

Non-action verbs generally do not take the past continuous tense.

For example :

I thought I heard the sound of glass breaking. (CORRECT)

I was thinking I heard the sound of glass breaking. (INCORRECT)

The old lady was standing by the river. She was waiting for the ferry to come. Finally the ferry arrived. The crowd rushed pushing the lady to the side. One little boy who was standing on the deck noticed the plight of the old lady. The ferry was about to start but the old lady was still hurrying towards it. The boy knew the old lady could not go to make it. He decided to help her. The ferry was blowing its horn. The driver was getting ready to remove the plank connecting the ferry to the shore when there was a loud splash. All the people rushed towards the railings. The little boy had jumped into the water and was swimming towards the shore. As the people watched, the boy reached the shore, climbed up on to the plank and helped the old lady who was still walking towards the ferry.



Simple Past or Past Continuous



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