I would like to know the difference between "1" and "2" in the next passage.
1.Now Antonio and Julio were even sharing a job.
2. Now Antonio and Julio even shared a job.
Antonio and Julio were twins. They shared everything. Antonio and Julio’s mother brought home a pet kitten for the boys. “Can’t we each have our own kitten?” asked the twins. They were tired of sharing everything.“I’m sorry, but you must share one kitten,” Mother said. “You will have to feed the kitten and make sure she does not get into anything.” 1.Now Antonio and Julio were even sharing a job./2. Now Antonio and Julio even shared a job.
As far as meaning, there is no difference. If you're preparing for the SAT/ACT/TOEFL, perhaps it's important. Otherwise I wouldn't worry about it.
You might hear either sentence in everyday English. If one is correct, I'd guess that it's the second one because it includes the "-ed", agreeing with the verb form in the second sentence of the paragraph, "They shared everything."
This is how I'd use the past continuous: Because they were sharing the job, some days the cat was double-fed. It wasn't long before their cute little kitten turned into a fat cat.
Note that "now" means "as a result"; it does not mean "at the present time". The whole situation described in the paragraph is one that occurred in the past.