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    #1

    Past continuous (Active)

    Could anyone check these sentences, please.
    1) I was sleeping on my bed when my cat stepped on my stomach.
    2) I was pressing the operation button of my computer last night to turn it on.
    3) An elephant was pulling a tree out of the forest.
    4) Ahmed was panting after he won the running race.
    5) The fans were yelling on the magician after he made a fault trick.
    6) Tom was donating his servings to the Pakistanis who afflicted with the flood calamity.
    Last edited by Atchan; 20-Aug-2010 at 18:39.

  1. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Past continuous (Active)

    ***Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.***

    Quote Originally Posted by atchan View Post
    1) I was sleeping on my bed when my cat stepped on my stomach.
    2) I was pressing the operation button of my computer last night to turn it on.
    3) An elephant was pulling a tree out of the forest.
    4) Ahmed was panting after he won the running race.
    5) The fans were yelling on the magician after he made a fault trick.
    6) Tom was donating his servings to the Pakistanis who afflicted with the flood calamity.
    2. I pressed the operation button of my computer last night to turn it on.
    3) An elephant pulled a tree out of the forest.

    4 - 6) Not sure, but I guess you don't need the progessive form there.

    Look, the principle of the progressive use.
    We normally use it to connect to operations that happen/appear simultaneous.
    Your 1st sentence is a great example.
    Action 1: You are sleeping.
    Action 2: Your cat steps on you while you are still sleeping.


    It's logical that your PC goes on when you press the button.
    You can say:
    My PC broke last night, and I have the feeling it was my fault, because:
    I pressed the button while it was thundering.


    Normally, when several actions happen one after the other, you don't need to use the progressive version either.
    What did you do yesterday?
    I got up, then I ate, and I later I went to a friend.

    That's why sentence 5 should be:
    5) The fans yelled (or laughed) at the magician after he made a fault trick.
    These two "operations" don't happen simultaneous.

    I hope some other members will help you as well, because it's a hard topic.

    Cheers!

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    #3

    Re: Past continuous (Active)

    Thank you Nightmare85.

    Its the time for explanation and the proper person is TheParser.

    Come on and have a look on here, please.
    Last edited by Atchan; 20-Aug-2010 at 23:28.

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    #4

    Re: Past continuous (Active)

    [QUOTE=atchan;641287]1) I was sleeping on my bed when my cat stepped on my stomach.
    2) I was pressing the operation button of my computer last night to turn it on.
    3) An elephant was pulling a tree out of the forest.
    4) Ahmed was panting after he won the running race.
    5) The fans were yelling on the magician after he made a fault trick.
    6) Tom was donating his servings to the Pakistanis who afflicted with the flood calamity.

    ********** NOT a teacher **********

    Hello, Atchan.

    (1) I think that Nightmare did an outstanding job. He always

    contributes interesting ideas that help me and other members.

    (2) Of course, the "proper" person to evaluate your sentences

    is one of the great teachers here -- not I.

    (3) Here are my views (which could easily be wrong).

    No. 1 sounds fine. I might make a few minor changes:

    I was sleeping in bed when my cat jumped on my stomach.

    ***

    No. 2. As Nightmare so correctly said, sometimes the past

    progressive is not necessary. I guess it all depends on what

    you wish to say:

    I pressed/pushed the operation button of my computer last night to turn

    it on. / I was pressing the operation button of my computer last night to

    turn it on when the earthquake suddenly hit my city.

    ***

    No. 3. Fine. An elephant was dragging a tree trunk out of the forest.

    ***

    No 4. I am not sure. Maybe (maybe!!!): Ahmed was panting heavily

    because he had just won the running race.

    ***

    No. 5. Again the past or the past progressive? The fans yelled at the

    magician after he had made a mistake in one of his tricks./The fans were

    yelling at the magician because he had made a mistake in one of his tricks.

    ***

    No. 6. Maybe something like:

    Tom donated his savings to help the victims of the Pakistani

    flood calamity.

    *****

    As Nightmare advised, it would be very helpful, I think, if you review

    the use of the past progressive and the simple past.

    You did a very nice job. Congratulations!!! Many people wish that they

    could speak your language as well as you can speak English.

    THANK YOU

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    #5

    Re: Past continuous (Active)

    Hello TheParser and thank you for your kind words and advice
    An elephant was dragging a tree trunk out of the forest.
    Do you use the "was dragging" because it's a longer process?
    First I thought it would be to "pull out" something, which shouldn't take that long.
    However, dragging has another meaning as I checked now.
    So maybe we can say we see an elephant while it is doing something.

    Cheers!

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    #6

    Re: Past continuous (Active)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello TheParser and thank you for your kind words and advice
    An elephant was dragging a tree trunk out of the forest.
    Do you use the "was dragging" because it's a longer process?
    First I thought it would be to "pull out" something, which shouldn't take that long.
    However, dragging has another meaning as I checked now.
    So maybe we can say we see an elephant while it is doing something.

    Cheers!
    ********** NOT a teacher **********

    Hello, Nightmare.

    (1) Thank you for your kind note.

    (2) You have made a very insightful comment. I used to drag because

    I just felt more comfortable. Now -- thanks to your explanation -- I

    understand that I used to drag because I was picturing the elephant

    dragging it across the floor of the jungle. As you said, to pull would

    perhaps better refer to a single action: the elephant pulled the tree

    trunk out of the ground. Thank you again for helping me to better

    understand my native language.

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