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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    present perfect continuous vs past continuous

    Hello, dearest teachers
    Could you please explain the grammar in the sentences below?

    However, while he was packing it away, they chatted and then he asked her to have a coffee with him.

    Why do we use the Present Simple here (they chatted) not The Present continuous?

    '' We use the simple past to talk about complete actions (long or short).''
    They were chatting while 'he was packing'. The action wasn't completed? Or was meaning they had a chat?

    We watched TV all evening.
    It it because the times not mentioned there it means the evening finished?

    My father worked hard all his life.
    Is his father dead? Or for some reason he isn't going to work again ever?

    Thank you for your help in advance

  2. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
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    #2

    Re: present perfect continuous vs past continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by elenah View Post
    However, while he was packing it away, they chatted and then he asked her to have a coffee with him.

    Why do we use the Present Simple here (they chatted) not The Present continuous?
    'They chatted' is past simple. Past continuous is possible. There would be no significant difference in meaning between the two forms in this sentence, though the continuous form might suggest the on-goingness of the chatting throughout the packing.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 31-May-2017 at 11:44.

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