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    • Join Date: Apr 2010
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    #1

    while and past progressive

    Sometimes the verb we use in the other sentence either be in the simple past form, or in the past progressive form ,my question is when do we use the past progressive verb,
    example : While I was talking on the phone, someone stole my car
    the verb here in the other part of the sentence is simple past,When do we use the past progressive instead of the simple past?
    Thanks

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    #2

    Re: while and past progressive

    Quote Originally Posted by am1975 View Post
    Sometimes the verb we use in the other sentence either be in the simple past form, or in the past progressive form ,my question is when do we use the past progressive verb,
    example : While I was talking on the phone, someone stole my car
    the verb here in the other part of the sentence is simple past,When do we use the past progressive instead of the simple past?
    Thanks
    Hello (Not at teacher),

    I belive the following rule can help you. In my mind we use the past progressive tense for an action that take place in the past and goes on.

    In your example your are talking in the phone and it is during a moment, and you msut use a progressive form, the action is still going on. The simple past tense is used for an action which happens in the past and finish.

    Hope my explanation is enough clear.

    See you later.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: while and past progressive

    Quote Originally Posted by am1975 View Post
    Sometimes the verb we use in the other sentence either be in the simple past form, or in the past progressive form ,my question is when do we use the past progressive verb,
    example : While I was talking on the phone, someone stole my car
    the verb here in the other part of the sentence is simple past,When do we use the past progressive instead of the simple past?
    Thanks
    It is true that the act of the car being stolen was a single action, therefore "someone stole my car" is correct. However, it would also have been possible to say "While I was talking on the phone, someone was stealing my car." In that context you would have the past progressive in both halves of the sentence. It would be an unusual use, admittedly.

    A better example would be "While I was talking on the phone, people were making a lot of noise outside my house". Both of these actions were ongoing at the same time and therefore the past progressive would be appropriate.

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