in progress in the past
We use the
Past Progressive to describe past situations or actions that were in
progress at some time in the past:
don't know whether the action was completed or not:
beginning with all emphasize continuity:
In the same
way, still can emphasize duration:
which began before something else happened
Progressive and the Simple Past are often used together in a sentence. The
Past Progressive describes a situation or action in progress in the past,
and the Simple Past describes a shorter action or event. The action or
situation in progress is often introduced by conjunctions like when
and as, just as, while:
I was leaving the house, the phone rang.
met Frank Sinatra when she was living in Hollywood.
shorter action can be introduced by when:
often use the Simple Past to describe the action in progress, but the
Progressive puts more emphasis on the duration of the action, as in the
second of these two examples:
fumbled for some money, my friend paid the fares.
was fumbling for some money, my friend paid the fares.
emphasize the fact that two or more actions were in progress at the same
time by using e.g. while or at the time (that):
While I was
working in the garden, my wife was cooking dinner.
This use is
similar to that of the Present Progressive:
worked here, Roger was always making mistakes.
This use is
even more polite and tentative than the Simple Past:
wondering if you could give me a lift.