Dear friends,as much as i know of these two words.....divind is going down and deep in the water and changes in depth is the most factor but when you swim under water water you normally swim straight ،،،،، of course in the pools when you jump from from platforms that is diving too
"was/were swimming" is not simple past in English.
Foreign language teacher here for 46 years in both French and Spanish. My terminology is correct for translating into English. The two languages distinguish between the simple past and the imperfect which is nearly always translated differently from the simple past in English.
"The Past Simple tense, also called the Simple Past, is used for past actions that happened either at a specific time, which can either be given by a time phrase (yesterday, last year, etc.) or understood from the context. Regular Verbs add -ed to the base form, or -d if the verbs ends with -e."
French: j'ai regardé = passé composé (I looked at, I have looked at)
Je regardais = imparfait (imperfect in English) I was looking at, I used to look at, I would look at (in the past, different from conditional)
The translations above of the imperfect use helping verbs which show that imperfect in distinct and not simple past.
Spanish: Miré = pretérito
Miraba = imperfecto
The (simple) past is distinct from the imperfect in most European languages. Spanish also has a past progressive tense or rather imperfect progressive which is distinct.
Yo estaba mirando = I was looking at
Miraba = I was looking at, I would look at, I used to look at.
The two tenses are distinct. In Swedish however they appear to be the same both the past and the imperfect.
From the internet: "L'imparfait (the imperfect) is a French past tense. It describes states and actions that were ongoing or repeated in the past. The imperfect can correspond to the English simple past tense, but also to structures such as used to and would and even the past progressive."
So you would be correct some of the time, but rarely. More frequently you would NOT use the simple past in English to translate imperfect tense.
To be clear, I was referring originally to the English translation, and not to how native speakers would perceive the tense in their language. Apparently, there is no specific tense in Swedish that is translated ONLY by the imperfect tense in English as with French and Spanish.
Yes, preterite is English "simple past." Imperfect in French, Spanish etc. is normally not "simple past" in English (was/were looking, used to look, would look (not conditional)).
The fact that Swedish does not have such a tense GREATLY simplifies Swedish grammar by comparison to those languages. There are times in both French and Spanish that using one tense over the other changes the entire meaning. For example:
Je savais (I knew (factual))
J'ai su (I found out)
So glad to not have to deal with that in Swedish!
Reading in Wikipedia, I have discovered the source of my confusion about "imperfect" vs. "preterite":
"In German, Imperfekt formerly referred to the simply conjugated past tense (to contrast with the Perfekt or compound past form), but the term Präteritum (preterite) is now preferred, since the form does not carry any implication of imperfective aspect."
In any case, I too am grateful that the Germanic languages I've looked at (Swedish, Dutch, German as well as English) do not include the elaborate tense and aspect structure of the Romance languages.