Let's see the example below:
Yesterday I wrote an article. I began at 2 o'clock and finished at 3 o'clock. So, at 2.30 I was writing an article.
Usamos o past continuous para dizemos algo que estava no meio de uma ação em determinado tempo, a ação ou situação já tenha começado antes deste determinado tempo mas não tenha terminado.
- What were we doing at 2 o'clock this afternoon?
- This time last year he was living in São Paulo.
Compare o past continuous (I was doing) e o past simple (I did):
Past continuous: (no durante da ação)
- I was going home when I met John.
- Paul was listenting to the radio when the door bell rang
Past simple: (complete action)
- I went home after the party last night.
- Paul listened to the radio a lot when he was ill last month.
Também usamos juntos past simple e past continuous, vejam os exemplos abaixo:
- His car broke when he was coming home.
- I saw you in the theater last night. I was buying tickets to see the movie.
PS.: some verbs for example - know, want, believe - are not normally used in the continuous:
- We were good friends. We knew each other well.(not, were were knowing)
- I was watching the movie but Sonia wanted to to home.(not, was wanting)
So, that's all for now folks....see you...