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  1. Junior Member
    Student or Learner
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    #1

    had dinner vs were having dinner

    Hi,

    When Karen arrived, we were having dinner.
    When Karen arrived, we had dinner.

    What's the difference between two?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
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    #2

    Re: had dinner vs were having dinner

    In #1 we were eating when Karen arrived.

    In #2, we didn't start eating until Karen arrived.

  3. engee30's Avatar
    Key Member
    Retired English Teacher
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    #3

    Re: had dinner vs were having dinner

    Not a teacher.

    katnoric32
    , you might also want to look at such differences between sentences like this:

    Which came first? Which came next/second?
    In, "When Karen arrived, we were having dinner.", "dinner" came first; "Karen came next"
    In, "When Karen arrived, we had dinner.", "Karen" came first; "dinner" came next.

    And there's one more that I feel is worth mentioning here - in, "When Karen arrived, we had (already) had dinner.", "dinner" came first and "Karen" came second.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 18-Jan-2015 at 23:12. Reason: Adding 'Not a teacher'.

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