# Thread: I was opening the door this morning when a cat jumped out.

1. ## I was opening the door this morning when a cat jumped out.

We usually consider that the sentence 1 and 2 is the same because they refers to successive actions. But how about the sentence 3? Could we think that it refers to a continuous action which is interrupted by another shorter action? Is it like the sentence 4? Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this.

1) When he saw me, he put the receiver down.
2) I opened the door this morning when a cat jumped out.
3) I was opening the door this morning when a cat jumped out.
4) I was watching TV when the phone rang.

2. ## Re: I was opening the door this morning when a cat jumped out.

You don't have to put "the" in front of "sentence" every time.

What do you mean when you say that sentences one and two are the same?

A "fix" for sentences two and three:

I opened the door this morning, and the cat ran outside.

3. ## Re: I was opening the door this morning when a cat jumped out.

Sentences one and two are the same in meaning. They both refer to successive actions. But I wonder if we can use sentence three which has the same meaning as sentence four?

4. ## Re: I was opening the door this morning when a cat jumped out.

I think 'when' can be used in 'The cat ran outside when I opened the door this morning'.

5. ## Re: I was opening the door this morning when a cat jumped out.

Sentences one and two are nowhere similar in meaning. Do you mean that the structure is the same? Even then, that's wrong.
1) "When he saw me, he put the receiver down."
2) "I opened the door this morning when a cat jumped out. = 2b. When a cat jumped out, I opened the door this morning."
The structures of 1 and 2b are the same, but don't reflect your intended meanings.

3 and 4 don't have the same meaning. Make sure you know what 'meaning' means. 3 and 4 have the same grammatical structure.
Yes, in both 3 and 4, something happened while another thing was happening.

6. ## Re: I was opening the door this morning when a cat jumped out.

Originally Posted by Raymott
1) "When he saw me, he put the receiver down."
2) I opened the door this morning when a cat jumped out.
In #1, he put the receiver down immediately after he saw me.
In #2, I opened the door immediately after a cat jumped out; that is not the intended meaning.

Is that correct?

7. ## Re: I was opening the door this morning when a cat jumped out.

Originally Posted by Matthew Wai
In #1, he put the receiver down immediately after he saw me.
In #2, I opened the door immediately after a cat jumped out; that is not the intended meaning.

Is that correct?
2) When a cat jumped out, I opened the door this morning. = The cat jumped out and then I opened the door.
5) A cat jumped out when I opened the door this morning. = I opened the door and then the cat jumped out.

Are they correct? The sentence which goes after "when" will happen first?

8. ## Re: I was opening the door this morning when a cat jumped out.

I think you are right because 'when' means 'after or as soon as something happens' according to definition#3 at http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/when

9. ## Re: I was opening the door this morning when a cat jumped out.

Son Ho, where did you find "when the cat jumped out"?

10. ## Re: I was opening the door this morning when a cat jumped out.

Perhaps:

When he opened the car door, the cat jumped out.

Or:

When she opened the box, a cat jumped out.

Or:

When he opened the closet door, a cat jumped out.

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