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      • Native Language:
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    #1

    when I wrote that letter

    Are these sentences grammatical (with the given meaning)?

    1) I sneezed twice when I wrote that letter.
    2) I sneezed twice while I wrote that letter.
    3) I sneezed twice when I was writing that letter.

    They are all supposed to mean the same.

    I believe '1' could also mean: I sneezed twice when I finished writing that letter.



    =============================



    4) He must have left when she took her shower.
    5) He must have left while she took her shower.
    6) He must have left when she was taking her shower.


    They are all supposed to mean the same.


    I believe '4' could also mean: He must have left when she finished taking her shower. (unlikely)


    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: when I wrote that letter

    Are these sentences grammatical (with the given meaning)?

    1) I sneezed twice when I wrote that letter.
    2) I sneezed twice while I wrote that letter.
    3) I sneezed twice when I was writing that letter.

    They are all supposed to mean the same.

    To me, 2 and 3 are synonymous and natural. It is hard to imagine a context in which 1 would be natural, and that is why it seems less likely and potentially ambiguous to me.

    I believe '1' could also mean: I sneezed twice when I finished writing that letter.



    =============================



    4) He must have left when she took her shower.
    5) He must have left while she took her shower.
    6) He must have left when she was taking her shower.


    They are all supposed to mean the same.

    Similarly, 5 and 6 seem synonymous to me, while 4 seems somewhat less likely and therefore less natural and also possibly ambiguous.

    I believe '4' could also mean: He must have left when she finished taking her shower. (unlikely)


    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Nov 2013
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    #3

    Re: when I wrote that letter

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    I sneezed twice when I finished writing that letter.
    If it was the intended meaning, I would use the past perfect 'had written'.
    I am not a teacher.

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