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Question about Simple Past and Past Progressive Hello! I was doing some excercises in my book, but then I got a little confused about this. So there was this sentence: Karl and I (meet) in school when we (study) English. The correct answer (according to the book) is: Karl and I met in school when we were studying English. Now, the book says that we use: While with past progressive. When with simple past. It also says that this is when an action is interrupted. Like: While he was skiing, he fell. He was skiing when he fell. So, why is it correct to say "when we were studying"? Is it because the action is not being interrupted? I mean, meeting Karl didn't cause her dropping out of school. "Karl and I met in school when we studied English" is not correct? Why isn't it "While I was studying, I met Karl"? or "When I met Karl I was studying English"? Please, could you explain me why is this? Thank you so much! (:
15 gen 2016 15:36
Answers · 5
Past progressive = an action that was continually happening in the past e.g. "the fire was burning, we were studying, the music was playing." Simple past = a one-time event. "I started the fire, I closed the book, I played a note" So in this case... You were studying ----------------------------------------> Boom! Then something happened. You met Karl.
15 gennaio 2016
Saying the activity has to be interrupted is too narrow a requirement. It's more a question of something that was going on, in the background if you like, when an event occurred, in this case, your meeting. Now if you use simple past for both clauses, the suggestion is that you had several meetings, which were on the occasions of the multiple times you studied -- for example, you ran into him every time you had an English class. As to your last two examples, they're essentially the same thing from a tense point of view, but with the clauses inverted and an alternative choice of words. They are fine, too, but not an answer to the original question.
15 gennaio 2016
Language Skills
English, French, Korean, Spanish
Learning Language
English, French, Korean