The fill in the blanks exercise was about people arriving in a new town, to find the streets empty of people. "Tous les magasins de la ville étaient fermés." This was followed by a sentence in the past tense (walking on empty streets from 3pm till 5pm) Then came the sentence being queried (post below). Thanks so very much to all who responded earlier.
It seems that this is not from one of our exercises so it is difficult to comment without the full context but I will try -
For instance, you could say -
Talking about something that happened in the near past and is now completed, hence the passé composé.
Describing the scene - the shops were closed and it was raining - use the imparfait and the actions use the passé composé.
You might find Aurélie's answer to a similar question useful too -
P.S. In the future, to make it easier for us please post your subsequent answers to the original question.
Bonne Continuation !
Andrea, you might find the link below useful for enhancing understanding of how imparfait and passé composé are used in practice, especially in ‘story-telling’.
Être is a so-called verbe d'état, a state-of-being verb. This kind of verbs are usually used in the imperfect because they describe a state. Read more here:
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