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    #1

    past simple vs past continous

    Hello,

    I'm wondering if both of the following sentences are fine:

    1) At 23.30 he went to bed (a complete action)
    At 23.30 he was going to bed (he was in the process of going to bed).

    The second one sounds a bit strange to me, but the book I'm using requires putting the verbs in the past continuous tense.

    2) Shubert wrote his 6th symphony (he completed it)
    Shubert was writing his 7th symphony (he didn't manage to complete it).

    Is 'was writing' the only possible tense in the second sentence?

    Thank you in advance.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: past simple vs past continous

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    1) At 23.30 he went to bed (a complete action)
    At 23.30 he was going to bed (he was in the process of going to bed).

    The second one sounds a bit strange to me, but the book I'm using requires putting the verbs in the past continuous tense.

    Without more context, the second one is strange.

    2) Shubert wrote his 6th symphony (he completed it)
    Shubert was writing his 7th symphony (he didn't manage to complete it).

    Is 'was writing' the only possible tense in the second sentence?

    'Wrote' is not possible, if he he didn't complete it. As a sentence on its own, "Schubert was writing his 7th syphony" is also strange. We expect something more, such as, "when he died".
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    #3

    Re: past simple vs past continous

    You helped a lot, thank you!

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    #4

    Re: past simple vs past continous

    How do you feel about the progressive tense used in this example?

    - You walked away...
    - I was getting someting

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: past simple vs past continous

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexAD View Post
    How do you feel about the progressive tense used in this example?

    - You walked away...
    - I was getting someting
    That works.

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