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Hi, Ahmed,

@Ahmed.A.A posted:

Hi,

" For a long time yesterday, he ......... in his office."

a- worked     b- was working 

I see that both are grammatically correct. The problem is that there is no further context. The past simple here refers to an action finished in the past and this action happened normally, not temporarily. The progressive form means he was busy doing something which lasted for some time before it finished. The speaker may want to emphasize that this was a temporary action or maybe he/she wants to explain the background to a certain situation (which needs more context). In our exams, it happened more than once that we used 'for + a period of time' with the past simple, but this is not a fixed rule to follow. The past progressive is perfectly fine here.

See the first example here with its explanation:

https://sites.google.com/site/...-progressive-tense-1

Last edited by ahmed_btm
@Ahmed.A.A posted:

" For a long time yesterday, he ......... in his office."

a- worked     b- was working 

Hello, Ahmed and Ahmed—I agree with Ahmed_btm that both answers are grammatically correct. The sentences essentially express the same thing, but from a slightly different viewpoint. Each has a slightly different "flavor."

It would be natural to use "For a long time yesterday, he worked in his office" if the speaker wanted to emphasize the location of his work during that time period.

  • Lately, he has been out meeting with clients a lot. But for a long time yesterday, he worked in his office.

It would be natural to use "For a long time yesterday, he was working in his office" if the speaker were surprised or "taken" by his activity during that time period.

  • He hasn't been feeling well lately. Sometimes he stays in bed all day. But for a long time yesterday, he was working in his office.

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