Past simple vs past continuous

Past simple vs past continuous..jpg

Fill in the gaps with the past simple or past continuous form of the verbs in brackets

  1. I ______________ (walk) home when I ______________ (meet) Maria.

  2. John __________________ (wait) for me when I ________________ (arrive).

  3. I haven’t seen Andrew for ages. When I last _________________ (see) him, he ___________________ (try) to find a job in Dublin.

  4. He _________________ (read) the newspaper when the phone _______________ (ring).

  5. I _________________ (make) a sandwich when Mike _______________ (arrive).

  6. We ________________ (not go) out because it ________________ (rain).

  7. When I was young, I _____________ (want) to be a doctor.

  8. He usually wears sandals but when I last ______________ (see) him he _________________ (wear) boots.

  9. My brother ______________ (see) you in the park two days ago. You__________________ (play) football with Stuart.

  10. While I _________________ (work) in the garden, I _________________ (hurt) my back.


Correct answers:

1) was walking; met.
2) was waiting; arrived.
3) saw; was trying.
4) was reading; rang.
5) was making; arrived.
6) didn’t go; was raining.
7) wanted.
8) saw; was wearing.
9) saw; were playing.
10) was working; hurt.

Downloadable PDF – past simple or past continuous – quiz with answers





iSLCollective (Internet Second Language Collective) is a website where you can find useful resources. You must register in order to download the handouts, but it’s for free. For example, this is a poster on daily activities:

My day

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This one is on action verbs:

action verbs

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This one is on Indirect/Reported Speech:

Reported speech1

Reported Speech 2

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On this website, you can also find this kind of printable handouts:

Worksheet on Past Simple vs Continuous Correct answers worksheet past simple vs continuous

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As you can see, there are grammar rules for a quick review, then exercises with answer keys.