The big difference between these tenses is that the past simple is used to talk about short, simple actions and habits in the past. The past continuous is used for long actions or when the action was going on at a particular moment in the past.
Past simple or past continuous exercise
You can find the exercise below:
Past Simple or Past Continuous Exercise 1
Complete these sentences by filling in the correct form of the verb in the past simple or past continuous.
1.He (to whistle) while he (to walk) in the garden.
2.The teacher (to give) us one final warning because we (to make) a lot of noise.
3.I (to take) notes while the professor (to talk) about Sherlock Holmes.
4.I can't believe he (to cheat) the whole time.
5.That's insane! I only (to cheat) once during a game of monopoly when I was 16 years old.
6.Max Verstappen (to win) last year's Belgian Grand Prix.
7.They (to keep) an eye on my neighbour for a whole month.
8.I only (to see) him once during that time.
9.He (to give) me a sweater for my 10th birthday.
10.We (to pay) our bill so we are finally free.