Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 73
    #1

    Red face Tricky when

    1. When my wife was pregnant, I landed a job at Harrods.

    How could this sentence be understood since there is no progressive form of 'was pregnant'

    Could it mean: A) While my wife was pregnant, I landed a job at Harrods.

    B) After my wife was pregnant, I landed a job at Harrods

    C) Meaning A) or B), depending on the context

    What is the case if this sentence reads:

    2) When I landed a job at Harrods, my wife was pregnant.

    Could it mean: A) I landed a job at Harrods while my wife was pregnant

    B) After I landed a job at Harrods, my wife was pregnant

    C) Meaning A) or B), depending on the context.


    Finally 3) When I was in Hamburg, my brother was in London.

    Could it mean: A) While I was in Hamburg, my brother was in London

    B) After I was in Hamburg, my brother was in London.

    C) Meaning A) or B), depending on the context


    A big hello from Bavaria

    Joern

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #2

    Re: Tricky when

    Hello Joern from Bavaria.

    A person is pregnant for nine months, more or less. There is a progressive sense, even though we don't say "while she was being pregnant."

    1. When my wife was pregnant, I landed a job at Harrods. -- At some point during her pregnancy, I got the job.

    The problem with A is that it could mean that the person worked there only while she was pregnant. Although "landed" should be a momentary thing (he got the job), someone could read it as meaning that the duration of the job coincided with the pregnancy.
    B is completely wrong.

    2A - yes.
    2B - no

    3A -yes
    3B - no
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2010
    • Posts: 1,696
    #3

    Re: Tricky when

    Quote Originally Posted by Joern Matthias View Post
    1. When my wife was pregnant, I landed a job at Harrods.

    How could this sentence be understood since there is no progressive form of 'was pregnant'

    Could it mean: A) While my wife was pregnant, I landed a job at Harrods.
    During the time of her pregnancy

    B) After my wife was pregnant, I landed a job at Harrods
    If your wife became pregnant on July 11th, anytime after July 11th to the date of the birth of the child would be considered the time that she was pregnant.

    C) Meaning A) or B), depending on the context
    B says that the sequence of events are as follows - wife becomes pregnant, job is found. The original text doesn't support that. The text says that during the time she was pregnant, I landed a job.

    What is the case if this sentence reads:

    2) When I landed a job at Harrods, my wife was pregnant.

    Could it mean: A) I landed a job at Harrods while my wife was pregnant

    B) After I landed a job at Harrods, my wife was pregnant
    No. The text says that your wife was pregnant when you landed a job. It does not say that she became pregnant after you landed the job.

    C) Meaning A) or B), depending on the context.


    Finally 3) When I was in Hamburg, my brother was in London.

    Could it mean: A) While I was in Hamburg, my brother was in London
    Yes. Again, the meaning points to "during".
    B) After I was in Hamburg, my brother was in London.
    Where were you after you were in Hamburg? To make the sentence work the way you want it to, it would have to be written - After I arrived in Hamburg, my brother was in London.

    C) Meaning A) or B), depending on the context


    A big hello from Bavaria

    Joern
    Gil

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 73
    #4

    Re: Tricky when

    Hello Barb_D,

    Lots of thanks for your helpful answer.

    Joern from Bavaria

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 73
    #5

    Re: Tricky when

    Hello Gillnetter,

    Your explanation has been very good and helpful.
    Thank you very much!

    Hello from Bavaria

    Joern

Similar Threads

  1. Is or are, a tricky one
    By johnnglsh in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 12-Jun-2010, 22:20
  2. [Grammar] Tricky Question !
    By Bader2004 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 18-Jun-2009, 15:36
  3. Tricky IDIOMS
    By Adenaaa in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 28-Feb-2009, 17:05
  4. Tricky it is.
    By nyggus in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-Aug-2007, 13:39
  5. Few tricky problems
    By Atesttaker in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-Jun-2004, 00:12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •