Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. Just Joined
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Kirundi
      • Home Country:
      • Burundi
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2017
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    I wasn't understanding what she was talking about

    Can you say
    I wasn't understanding what she was talking about ?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 47,348
    #2

    Re: I wasn't understanding what she was talking about

    Welcome to the forum.

    The use of the present continuous at the start is unnatural in BrE.

    I couldn't understand what she was talking about.
    I didn't understand what she was talking about.

    Please note that I have changed your thread title. Titles should include some/all of the words or phrases you are asking us about.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Newbie
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • New Zealand

    • Join Date: Feb 2017
    • Posts: 1
    #3

    Re: I wasn't understanding what she was talking about

    Quote Originally Posted by Oddie View Post
    Can you say
    I wasn't understanding what she was talking about ?
    It sounds unnatural because "understand" is a state verb.

    State verbs should not be used in continuous tenses.

    Common state verbs include: love, like, know and understand.

    For more, Google "state verbs in English".

    I hope that helps!

  4. Piscean's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 13,456
    #4

    Re: I wasn't understanding what she was talking about

    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Mark View Post
    State verbs should not be used in continuous tenses.
    It is perhaps better to say that we do not normally use the continuous form of verbs with a stative meaning,

  5. teechar's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq

    • Join Date: Feb 2015
    • Posts: 7,682
    #5

    Re: I wasn't understanding what she was talking about

    Quote Originally Posted by Oddie View Post
    I wasn't understanding what she was talking about
    Don't be surprised if you do encounter this kind of structure. While the simple form is the norm, the continuous is sometimes used for various reasons, e.g., where the durational aspect is pertinent.

    For instance,

    [Describing an argument between a couple]
    He wasn't understanding what she was saying, and she wasn't understanding what he was saying. The whole thing was a mess.

    For the first few days, I wasn't understanding much of what the lecturer was saying, but then I gradually got used to the accent and could follow her explanations.

    At first I was puzzled, but then I realized the reason I wasn't understanding any of the opera was that it was in Italian not French.

  6. Phaedrus's Avatar
    Senior Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jul 2012
    • Posts: 612
    #6

    Re: I wasn't understanding what she was talking about

    I wasn't understanding what she was talking about
    I prefer:

    I wasn't following her.

  7. Piscean's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 13,456
    #7

    Re: I wasn't understanding what she was talking about

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    I prefer:

    I wasn't following her.
    So do I. Teechar was merely making the valid point that 'I wasn't understanding' is possible.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 27-Nov-2014, 09:23
  2. [Grammar] My wife talking to the gardner vs talking to my son
    By B45 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-Apr-2014, 21:20
  3. everybody wasn't doing their best
    By navi tasan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-Feb-2012, 10:30
  4. Wasn't it for. Help please
    By Alex_Rusinov in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 28-Oct-2010, 10:30
  5. [Vocabulary] Talking of interchangeable with talking about?
    By LiuJing in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 24-Jun-2010, 16:11

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •