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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    He toiled/was toiling away/ spent 3 years tioiling away...

    Which of the sentences below is (are) more natural and "more grammatical"? Which are not natural and grammatically unacceptable?

    1. He toiled away on his dissertation (for?) three years.
    2. He was toiling away on his dissertation (for?) three years.
    3. He spent three years toiling away on his dissertation.


    There is not much context here - I just need to emphasize the fact that when he was working at his dissertation some time ago, it was hard job for him which took three years.

    Is "for" used with the past continuous and past simple?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 27-Feb-2014 at 20:03.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Past Continuous again

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Which of the sentences below is (are) more natural and "more grammatical"? Which are not natural and grammatically unacceptable?

    1. He toiled away at his dissertation (for?) three years.
    2. He was toiling away at his dissertation (for?) three years.
    3. He spent three years toiling away at his dissertation.


    There is niot much context here - I just need to emphasize the fact that when he was working at his dissertation some time ago, it was hard job for him which took three years.

    Is "for" used with the past continuous and past simple?
    For me, #3 is the best. The other two would be OK with "for".

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    #3

    Re: Past Continuous again

    A better title would have been He toiled/was toiling away...


    'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Past Continuous again

    None of them suggest that he was working on his dissertation some time ago​. It could have taken him three years but only been finished yesterday.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Past Continuous again

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    None of them suggest that he was working on his dissertation some time ago​. It could have taken him three years but only been finished yesterday.
    And how should I convey the idea that it happened "some time ago"?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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