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  1. #1
    ripley is offline Senior Member
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    Default simple past and past continuous in this sentence

    Hi,
    Two days ago I read this sentence in my grammar book; the exercise required me to use either the Simple Past or the Past continuous and warned me that
    each sentence contained both. I had problem with this sentence

    I...............(break) my leg when I .........................(climb) the mountain

    Is it possible to have simple past and past continuous in this sentence?

    After WHEN I would write a Simple Past, but I cannot understand if it is possible to write a Past Continuous in the first part!!??????
    I would use Simple Past in both parts:
    I broke my leg when I climbed the mountain
    Please tell me your opinion..
    Thanks.
    Rip

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: simple past and past continuous in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    Hi,
    Two days ago I read this sentence in my grammar book; the exercise required me to use either the Simple Past or the Past continuous and warned me that
    each sentence contained both. I had problem with this sentence

    I...............(break) my leg when I .........................(climb) the mountain

    Is it possible to have simple past and past continuous in this sentence?

    After WHEN I would write a Simple Past, but I cannot understand if it is possible to write a Past Continuous in the first part!!??????
    I would use Simple Past in both parts:
    I broke my leg when I climbed the mountain
    Please tell me your opinion..
    Thanks.
    Rip
    "I broke my leg when/while I was climbing the mountain". You were climbing the mountain when, suddenly, you broke your leg.

  3. #3
    ripley is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: simple past and past continuous in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "I broke my leg when/while I was climbing the mountain". You were climbing the mountain when, suddenly, you broke your leg.
    Thanks a lot; Is it possible to use when +Simple Past?????
    I thought the grammar book was wrong and that they wrote when instead of while....

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: simple past and past continuous in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    Thanks a lot; Is it possible to use when +Simple Past?????
    I thought the grammar book was wrong and that they wrote when instead of while....
    Yes, it's possible.

  5. #5
    Khosro's Avatar
    Khosro is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: simple past and past continuous in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    Thanks a lot; Is it possible to use when +Simple Past?????
    I thought the grammar book was wrong and that they wrote when instead of while....
    It wasn't wrong. You can use "past continuous" after "when" and you can also use "past simple" after "while".

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: simple past and past continuous in this sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Khosro View Post
    You can use "past continuous" after "when" and you can also use "past simple" after "while".
    He received a call from Emma when/while he was driving to Wales.
    George whistled while he worked, which used to annoy me.

    Note also:

    1. Sally was writing a report while Barry was preparing lunch.
    2. Sally wrote a report while Barry was preparing lunch.
    3. While Sally was writing a report, Barry prepared lunch.
    4. While Sally wrote a report, Barry prepared the lunch.

    In #1 , the speaker emphasises that both situations, writing and preparing. extended over a period; in #4, s/he makes no such emphasis, just reporting that the situations of writing and preparation actualised at the same time. In #2 and #3, the suggestion is that the situation spoken of using the past progressive (continuous) filled a longer time period than the one described in the past simple. The change in position of while reinforces this.

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