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  1. #1

    Smile Confusing question

    Please could you explain in simple English why using "had a bath" as apposed to "was in the bath" in the below answer to the question is incorrect:
    “Why didn’t you answer the telephone?”
    “Because I had a bath.”
    Thank you

  2. Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Re: Confusing question

    Simple past for the main verb 'have' implies completion. At the time of potential 'answering', the bath was 'had', i.e. finished, so the response is illogical-- if the bath were completed, then s/he could have answered the telephone.

    ('Was in the bath' of course makes it obvious that the person was immersed at the time of the phone call.)

    Incidentally, 'was having' would work fine: 'because I was having a bath'. Now, using the continuous form, the time frame is clearly that the bath was in process when the phone rang.

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: Confusing question

    In addition,

    Continuous: I was (in the bath) bathing at the time of your call.
    Simple: I had a bath at the time of you call.

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