Thread: I opened my umbrella when it rained.

1. I opened my umbrella when it rained.

Hello,

What is the difference between the below mentioned two sentences:
A) I opened my umbrella when it started to rain.
B) I opened my umbrella when it rained.

If both 'main clause' and the 'when clause' are in simple past, it means that when clause must happen first and main clause happen second.
Does it mean that first action must finish before second starts?

Thank you for taking time to review my post. I really appreciate your help.

2. Re: I opened my umbrella when it rained.

"When it rained" is a reference to the occasion (not the specific time). Therefore, it doesn't work in that context. Use "when it started to rain."

3. Re: I opened my umbrella when it rained.

They both mean the same. It rained, you opened your umbrella.

4. Re: I opened my umbrella when it rained.

Originally Posted by bhaisahab
They both mean the same. It rained, you opened your umbrella.
I disagree. In I opened my umbrella when it started to rain, opening the umbrella occurs at the moment the rain begins to fall. In I opened my umbrella when it rained, we don't know whether the umbrella-opening occurred at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the shower. Only the first sentence works.

5. Re: I opened my umbrella when it rained.

I am of the same opinion on this one. That one's a vague statement, as compared to the non-specific time reference statement I opened my umbrella when (that is, whenever, every time or if) it rained.

6. Re: I opened my umbrella when it rained.

I think it unlikely that we would say "I opened my umbrella/put my umbrella up when it rained". However, if we were to say that, common sense would interpret the time as the onset of the rain. We don't normally hold a furled umbrella for a few minutes after the rain has begun before we decide to put it up.

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