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    #1

    while/when

    Are these sentences correct:
    1-When poor, I used to eat a lot of canned food.
    2-While poor, I used to eat a lot of canned food.

    Isn't 2 ambiguous? Couldn't it mean the same as 1, and also:
    2b-Although I was poor, I used to eat a lot of canned food.

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    #2
    2 doesn't work for me- you could use 'when'. The 'although' idea doesn't work.

  1. Will
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    #3
    While both work, they both seem a little funky, I guess. I think it should read: When/While I was poor, I used to eat a lot of canned food. The first part (When/While poor,...) seems like you're saying it happens a lot. But when you get to the second part (I used to eat a lot of canned food), it seems like you're saying it's only happened once, and never again. Therefore, I think adding "I was" will clearify it.

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    #4
    2b would only work as a sentence, if canned food were more expensive with the 'although' meaning.

  2. Will
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    #5
    True, but there would still need to be the I was in 1 and 2 for them to make sense.

  3. #6
    A couple of points. I suspect that the original poster is learning these sentences rote style thus I strongly suspect that s/he is studying under the Chinese Education System.

    Secondly, there doesn't need to be an extra 'I was'. Under the education system of Yore, Will would probably have lost marks for suggesting so. In modern parlance, however, we do normal add in these tautilogical words - quite inelegant though it be.

    Iain

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    #7
    I agree with Will that "When I was poor, I used to...." makes for a more natural sentence.

    :)

  5. Will
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    #8
    Secondly, there doesn't need to be an extra 'I was'. Under the education system of Yore, Will would probably have lost marks for suggesting so. In modern parlance, however, we do normal add in these tautilogical words - quite inelegant though it be.
    What do you mean the 'I was' would be tautilogical? The sentence doesn't seem very natural without it.

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    #9
    I think it's fine without 'I was'.

  6. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Will
    What do you mean the 'I was' would be tautilogical? The sentence doesn't seem very natural without it.
    Adding the words 'I was' adds no extra information, hence the information is redundant. The sentence, perhaps a little formal in todays terms, can be understood without this addition. Why say more than you have to?

    Iain

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