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Use the simple past tense to express a habit in the past, and not the past continuous
Use the past continuous tense to describe events in the past happening at the time another action took place: I was walking to school when I met him.
If the verb in the main clause is in the future, the verb in the time clause must be in the present tense
Express a counterfactual (that didn't happen) condition by the past perfect and use the past conditional in the main clause. This use of the past perfect doesn't indicate a time but an impossible happening.
If we are speaking of an action just finished, we must use the present perfect instead of the simple past tense. For example, immediately after the clock strikes, we shouldn't say The clock struck, but The clock has struck.