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  1. #1
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Default action in progress / completed action

    Dear teachers,

    Do all the sentences below sound fine to you? The original one is:

    The phone ______ (ring) as I ______ (leave) the house.

    That's what I came up with:

    The phone was ringing as I left the house (the former considered a process, the latter considered a completed action)

    The phone rang as I was leaving the house (the former viewed as a completed action, the latter - as a process)

    The phone was ringing as I was leaving the house (two processes happening simultaneously)

  2. #2
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: action in progress / completed action

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Do all the sentences below sound fine to you? The original one is:

    The phone ______ (ring) as I ______ (leave) the house.

    That's what I came up with:

    The phone was ringing as I left the house (the former considered a process, the latter considered a completed action)

    The phone rang as I was leaving the house (the former viewed as a completed action, the latter - as a process)

    The phone was ringing as I was leaving the house (two processes happening simultaneously)
    Yes. They are all OK.

  3. #3
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: action in progress / completed action

    Thank you!
    But the problem is as follows. What if we extend the original sentence, adding "but I didn't answer it'?

    The phone ____ (ring) as I ____ (leave) the house, but I didn't answer it.

    The key gives "the phone rang as I was leaving the house, but I didn't answer it" as the correct alternative, implying that the process of leaving was interrupted by the call.
    I do totally agree with the key, but I cannot explain why the other two alternatives are incorrect. Does it have anything to do with 'but I didn't answer it'?

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: action in progress / completed action

    The addition of 'but I didn't answer it' changes nothing in this sentence. All three versions are still possible.

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