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    #1

    the correct form of "get" in the blank

    Some of my students recently took a nationwide English test and they had to fill out the blank in the sentence "Just as I _______ (to get) to an interesting part of the story, the doorbell rang." They called me after the test to find out the correct version. I believe that the best form of the verb "get" in this sentence should be "got" since the ringing and the getting happened at the same time. Can there be any other options?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: the correct form of "get" in the blank

    Quote Originally Posted by terranovamd View Post
    "Just as I _______ (to get) to an interesting part of the story, the doorbell rang." ... I believe that the best form of the verb "get" in this sentence should be "got" since the ringing and the getting happened at the same time. Can there be any other options?
    'Got', 'was getting' and 'had got' are all possible.

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    #3

    Re: the correct form of "get" in the blank

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    'Got', 'was getting' and 'had got' are all possible.
    In that case, you could add "had gotten" and "had been getting".
    But the overwhelmingly probably correct answer is "got", as the OP says.

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    #4

    Re: the correct form of "get" in the blank

    Thank you very much for your answer.

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    #5

    Re: the correct form of "get" in the blank

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    In that case, you could add "had gotten" and "had been getting".
    But the overwhelmingly probably correct answer is "got", as the OP says.
    I agree that 'got' is probably more likely than my other two suggestions; I don't agree with your 'overwhelmingly probable correct answer'

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    #6

    Re: the correct form of "get" in the blank

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I agree that 'got' is probably more likely than my other two suggestions; I don't agree with your 'overwhelmingly probable correct answer'
    I said that because I think that the person who set the question wants "got" because that is the same tense as "rang" - essentially the same justification that the OP made. Given that this isn't a hard question, it's probably not for very advanced students. I meant that the overwhelmingly most likely expected answer is "got". That is, by "correct answer", I meant the answer that is going to be marked correct, assuming - and I think this is likely in tests like this - that there is one correct answer.

    But I'm open to correction by terranovamd, who can let us know if students who put any of the other correct variants are marked correct without having to fight for it.

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    #7

    Re: the correct form of "get" in the blank

    'Just as I was getting' may be correct, but 'just as' and 'just when' are usually used to talk about two short actions or situations that happen / happened at the same time.

    So the most appropriate answer has to be 'got'.

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    #8

    Re: the correct form of "get" in the blank

    Quote Originally Posted by ManjushaNambiar View Post
    'Just as I was getting' may be correct, but 'just as' and 'just when' are usually used to talk about two short actions or situations that happen / happened at the same time.

    So the most appropriate answer has to be 'got'.
    True, but "just as + a form of 'got'" is not a form of 'got', and is defintely not right. All of the others count as "forms of 'got'" because all they contain is 'get/got/gotten" and any appropriate auxiliaries.

    Perhaps the question even implies that auxiliaries are not allowed, in which case, only "got" is right.

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    #9

    Re: the correct form of "get" in the blank

    It also depends on the pace of the narrative for me; if it's a slow-moving story, then the past progressive would fit the bill perfectly.

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