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Thread: sat/was sitting

  1. #1
    wowenglish1 is offline Senior Member
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    Default sat/was sitting

    I would like to know the difference in the meaning between "1" and "2".
    1. He sat in a chair looking out the window.
    2. He was sitting in a chair looking out the window.

  2. #2
    Gnome's Avatar
    Gnome is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: sat/was sitting

    Hello, I'm not a teacher.

    The first example is an example of active voice. The second example is an example of passive voice.

    Active voice is when a verb does something. Passive voice is when a verb is receiving the action. The two prior sentences are examples of active and passive. Do you understand? :)

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    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: sat/was sitting

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
    Hello, I'm not a teacher.

    The second example is an example of passive voice
    That is not true, I am afraid.

    He was sitting in a chair looking out the window.
    This is an active sentence.

    The second example emphasizes the dynamic sense the action has.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: sat/was sitting

    Quote Originally Posted by wowenglish1 View Post
    I would like to know the difference in the meaning between "1" and "2".
    1. He sat in a chair looking out the window.
    2. He was sitting in a chair looking out the window.
    The first sentence emphasises the action he took - he sat (down) in the chair.

    The second sentence describes the scene in the room - there was a person sitting in a chair looking out of the window.

    In fact, the first sentence isn't very well worded. It suggests that it was the chair that was looking out of the window. It should really say something like "He sat in a chair and looked out of the window" or "He sat in a chair to look out of the window".

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