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Can you say, "You ran in the park then"?

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
I think you can say
(a) You were running in the park then.

But would this sentence be used, too?
(b) You ran in the park then.

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin
 

joadbres

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As always, it depends on the context. Probably the 'were running' form is most natural in most contexts, but the (b) version is not grammatically incorrect, so it is probably acceptable.

If you are referring to something that someone was in the middle of doing at some point in the past, the 'were ~ing' form is usually the best choice.

This is another example of something that is difficult for us to answer without surrounding context.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the help, joadbres.

It's a question from a grammar exercise book.

Q. Change the verb into the correct form. (←Does this sentence make sense?)
You [run] in the park then.

The author of the book may have assumed that "You were running in the park then" was the only answer.
But I thought "You ran in the park then" would also be possible. That's why I asked here.
 
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