There was a (time) when (something happened)

This is a way to talk about how things were in the past:

There was a time when I was so shy, I wouldn't even respond when someone said "Hello" to me.

You can also say "There have been times" or "There have been periods":

There have been several times in history when a huge percentage of the people on the earth were killed by plagues.

This phrase appears in these lessons: