• We use the past continuous to describe a
longer action in progress in the past. This is
often an action which was in progress when
another action happened. It is often used to
set a scene.
• When Romeo met Juliet…
… people were dancing and singing.
• We use the past perfect to talk about an
action which happened before the specific
time in the past when the main events of the
• e.g. Romeo met Juliet and thought she was
• Before Romeo met Juliet…
she had taken drugs to simulate her death.