- I left school when I was sixteen.
- I was very happy then.
- He told me all about his childhood.
We can use the past continuous to talk about past events which went on for a period of time.
- While I was driving home, Peter was trying desperately to contact me.
- I was thinking about him last night.
- I was walking in the street when I suddenly fell over.
- I’ve broken my watch so I don’t know what time it is.
- She hasn’t arrived yet.
- We’ve been to Singapore a lot over the last few years.
- Have you ever been to Argentina?
- You look tired. Have you been sleeping properly?
- I’ve been waiting for him for 30 minutes and he still hasn’t arrived.
- He’s been phoning me all week for an answer.
We can use the past perfect simple to talk about what happened before a point in the past. It looks back from a point in the past to further in the past.
- I hadn’t known the bad news when I spoke to him.
- I thought we had already decided on a name for this product.
We can use the past perfect continuous to look back at a situation in progress.
- We had been thinking about buying a new house but then we decided to stay here.
- It had been snowing for a while before we left.
- She said she had been trying to call me all day.