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    #1

    Past simple or past continuous

    Hello,

    In which of these situations is it possible to use either past continuous or past simple?

    It wasn't raining/didn't rain when I got up.

    Yesterday, she was walking/walked along the road when she met Jim.

    Did you see Jane last night?
    Yes, she was wearing/wore a very nice jacket.
    What did you do/were you doing at 2 o'clock this morning.

    How fast did you drive/were you driving when police stopped you.

    When is it possible to use either generally?

    Thanks

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    #2

    Re: Past simple or past continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by sondra View Post
    It wasn't raining/didn't rain when I got up.
    The speaker is unlikely to mention that the rain did not start when s/he got up, so the continuous form is the one we'd expect.
    Yesterday, she was walking/walked along the road when she met Jim.
    It's possible that she began to walk along the road when she met Jim, but not very likely, in my opinion. Once again, the continuous form is the one we'd expect
    Did you see Jane last night?
    Yes, she was wearing/wore a very nice jacket.
    As the speaker is almost certainly talking about the clothes that jane had on before they met and continued to wear throughout the meeting, the continuous form is far more likely.
    What did you do/were you doing at 2 o'clock this morning.
    Both are possible. It depends whether the speaker wants to know what 'you' had started doing before two, or started doing at two.
    How fast did you drive/were you driving when police stopped you.
    'He' did not drive (away) when the police stopped him, so it's the continuous form.

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