Simple past for completed actions
This is a question from ‘Apple’ in Germany.
I had a test to day and there was a question that I really struggled with: ________(they go) out yesterday evening? Is it were they going out or did they go out? I think it’s the past continues because of the yesterday evening in the questions. Is my answer right? And if not why ?
When a past action is finished (here ‘to go out’) and the time of that action is set and completed in the past (‘yesterday evening’), we use the Simple Past:
- They went out yesterday evening.
If you used the Past Continuous it would usually need to be qualified by another action in the Simple Past:
- They were going out yesterday evening when it started to rain.
Your sentence though, as it is, would use the SImple Past only.
Take a look at the:
In the English4Today online grammar.