The Spanish preterite progressive is very similar to the
imperfect progressive. Both the preterite progressive and imperfect
progressive indicate an action that was in progress in the past when it was
interrupted by another event. However, the use of the preterite progressive
stresses the fact that the action was completed at the time of the
Estuve estudiando hasta que llamaste.
I was studying until you called.
Lo vi cuando estuvimos caminando.
I saw him when we were walking (and then we stopped walking).
¿Estuviste leyendo ahora mismo?
Were you reading just now?
Él estuvo trabajando hasta las siete.
He was working until seven o'clock.
The preterite progressive is similar in usage to the
preterite, but with an emphasis on the fact that the action was
completed at the moment it was interrupted. The preterite progressive is
rarely used in everyday Spanish.
The Spanish preterite progressive is formed with the
preterite of estar +
gerund of the action verb.