Jessicamessica
Past Simple or Continuous When the dog bit Laura's leg, she screamed / was screaming. Hi! In a sentence below I have chosen "was screaming". My teacher says that I am wrong, but I tried to explain to him that Laura is a girl, and whenever a dog bites a girl they usually scream for quite a long period of time. I don't want to argue with my teacher, but I am sure he is wrong to say that Past Simple should be used in the latter part of a sentence. So, could you please tell me (FRANQLY) who is right and who is wrong! Thank you everyone for your reply and good explanation! When the dog bit Laura's leg, she screamed / was screaming.
Sep 28, 2018 1:35 PM
"When the dog bit Laura's leg, she was screaming." = Laura started screaming BEFORE the dog bit her leg. There's no other context here, so this sentence doesn't make any sense. "When the dog bit Laura's leg, she screamed." = Laura REACTED to the bite by screaming. Past simple actions follow in sequence. If you wanted to say Laura screamed for a long time, then here's your sentence: "When the dog bit Laura's leg, she started screaming."
September 28, 2018
Hi there! Sorry, but your teacher is right. You see, if you say "was screaming" it can be understood that she was already screaming when the dog bit her. When there are two events in a sentence (Past Simple+Past Continuous) it implies that one was already happening and the other interrupted it. For example "I was doing the dishes when I heard the noise". So, in this case, it doesn't matter how long she screamed for. You can say "when the dog bit Laura's leg, she screamed for 20 minutes". You can also phrase it differently. if it sounds better for you "she started screaming" or "she began to scream". Hope this is helpful! Best regards, Elizabeth.
September 28, 2018
Hello Laura. Compare these two: - Laura was screaming when the dog bit her. - Laura screamed when the dog bit her. In one of those sentences, Laura started screaming before the dog bit her. In another of those sentences, Laura began to scream at the moment when the dog bit her. - When the dog bit Laura's leg, she started to scream and she continued screaming for a very long time. Hopefully that makes sense. So, you were right in that you were trying to say something quite specific but didn't have quite the right words; and your teacher was right because they were trying to teach you a rule. This might help, too: - https://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/past_progressive_use.htm All the best, G.
September 28, 2018
Sorry but your teacher is right: "when the dog bit Laura's leg, she screamed. " It happened after the biting and maybe she was screaming for several minutes, but it still happened afterwards. An example for using Past Continuous: When the dog bit Laura's leg, she was eating an icecream/ listening to music.
September 28, 2018
Jessicamessica
Language Skills
English, Russian, Ukrainian
Learning Language
English