2-4 It was horrible

Hello my friend.

Although let bygones be bygones we continue studying it. Like we have seen in past posts you can express actions that were happening in a moment in the past. Know we’ll see how to express two actions that happened at same time. The topic is Past Continuous Tense + Simple Past Tense.

Past Continuous Tense + Simple Past Tense

We often use the past continuous tense with the simple past tense. We use the past continuous tense to express a long action. And we use the simple past tense to express a short action that happens in the middle of the long action. We can join the two ideas with when or while.

In the following example, we have two actions:

1. long action (watching TV), expressed with past continuous tense

2. short action (telephoned), expressed with simple past tense


We can join these two actions with when:

  • I was watching TV when you telephoned.

(Notice that “when you telephoned” is also a way of defining the time [8pm].)

We use:

  • when + short action (simple past tense)
  • while + long action (past continuous tense)

There are four basic combinations:


Notice that the long action and short action are relative.

  • “Watching TV” took a few hours. “Telephoned” took a few seconds.
  • “Walking past the car” took a few seconds. “Exploded” took a few milliseconds.

Now keep practicing to understand it.

Read you next time.

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