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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bengali; Bangla
      • Home Country:
      • Bangladesh
      • Current Location:
      • Bangladesh

    • Join Date: Oct 2015
    • Posts: 49
    #1

    tale of pig

    "I answered the phone in my apartment and heard the sloping drawl of one of my students , Travis. " Miss Diana , " he said , "Could you come on down the stairs a minute?"

    It was early May on the Great Plains . The University of Nebraska had just let out for the summer, and there was an aroma of pasture and cow everywhere, even - when the wind was right - - at the center of the city. I didn't want to be in Nebraska. I was 26 years old , and I wanted to be writing novels , not grading papers on detasseling corn."

    These sentences have been recited from the following link:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archi...-460073fbdf52/

    1) In first sentence why past indifinte tense has been used? My opinion is- we should use past continuous tense in this case, i,e we could say- I was answering the phone.....". Please, tell what you think.

    2) In "could you come on down the stairs..." why 'on' has been used? What happens, if I omit 'on' from this sentence, what diffrences in meaning will arise?

    3) If I write "I wanted to write novels" instead of "I wanted to be writing novels", what differences will arise?

    One may think that since my post contains more questions, I should have made another posts. But I thought these three questions came from one common discourse. Hence I made only one post.

    Thanks to everyone of this forum.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 24-Oct-2015 at 15:20.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
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      • British English
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      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,627
    #2

    Re: tale of pig

    1. No, it's perfect as it is. The past continuous wouldn't work.
    2. There would be no difference in meanig, but it's fine as it is.
    3. It's fine as it is. If you change "I wanted to be writing" to "I wanted to write", you would also have to change "not grading papers..." to "not grade papers".

    What does your title "tale of pig" have to do with your question?
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

    • Member Info
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      • English
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    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,509
    #3

    Re: tale of pig

    I wondered that, too, bhai, until I read the story in the link. This is only the beginning of it. Perhaps Azah is going to ask more questions about it later.

    'Tale of a pig' would be more apt.

    'Could you come on down the stairs?' sounds like something that would be said in a regional dialect. Normally you'd hear 'Could you come downstairs?'

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