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    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 10
    #1

    When Clause

    Hello. I was just hoping to clarify something regarding When Clauses in English. For someone studying English as a second language, some times it's difficult to understand all the little nuances that similarly sounding sentences might have. For example, I was trying to figure out the difference between these two sentences:

    When Dave was eating dinner, the phone rang.
    Dave was eating dinner when the phone rang.

    Some grammar text books say that we need to find which action took place first and which action happened next. And then use the "when" with the second action while making the first action into a "past continuous" clause.

    However, both above mentioned sentences come from the same text book and in both sentences "Dave eating dinner" was the first action. Yet, in the first example the word "when" was attached to the first action and not the second.

    How would you explain why we have two very similar sentences which to me do not have that much difference? Would you say that "when" in these cases place more emphasize on the action that it precedes?

    I'm sorry for a confusing email. But I'd appreciate if you could help me to understand how to use "when clauses"

    Thank you!
    Minamax


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 78
    #2

    Re: When Clause

    Hi, sometimes when looking at similar sentences it`s useful to ask "what question would give me this answer.
    Regarding your sentences
    1. when did the phone ring ( when dave was eating )
    2. what was dave doing when the phone rang ( dave was eating)
    Last edited by tom slocombe; 07-Aug-2006 at 13:11.

  1. Mr.Tuan's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: When Clause

    Hello everybody,

    I have a sentense, but I don't know what're untruths with it. Can you help me to complete it?

    "I have got 2 years experience when I worked for BPP co."

    Thanks and Regards,
    Mr.Tuan


    • Join Date: May 2005
    • Posts: 11
    #4

    Smile Re: When Clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Tuan View Post
    Hello everybody,

    I have a sentense, but I don't know what're untruths with it. Can you help me to complete it?

    "I have got 2 years experience when I worked for BPP co."

    Thanks and Regards,
    Mr.Tuan
    This, "I have had two years experience when I started working for BPP co.", may be what you wanted to say. best of luck, nanucbe

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    #5

    Re: When Clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Tuan View Post
    Hello everybody,

    I have a sentense, but I don't know what're untruths with it. Can you help me to complete it?

    "I have got 2 years experience when I worked for BPP co."

    Thanks and Regards,
    Mr.Tuan
    I imagine you mean:

    I got 2 years' experience when I worked for BPP Co.


    • Join Date: May 2005
    • Posts: 11
    #6

    Re: When Clause

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    I imagine you mean:

    I got 2 years' experience when I worked for BPP Co.
    No, I meant that you had already gained two years of experience when you joined BPP Co.
    best of luck, nanucbe

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: When Clause

    Quote Originally Posted by nanucbe View Post
    No, I meant that you had already gained two years of experience when you joined BPP Co.
    best of luck, nanucbe
    In that case you want to say; 'I already had 2 years experience...' or 'I had had 2 years experience...'

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: When Clause

    Quote Originally Posted by minamax View Post
    Hello. I was just hoping to clarify something regarding When Clauses in English. For someone studying English as a second language, some times it's difficult to understand all the little nuances that similarly sounding sentences might have. For example, I was trying to figure out the difference between these two sentences:

    When Dave was eating dinner, the phone rang.
    Dave was eating dinner when the phone rang.

    Some grammar text books say that we need to find which action took place first and which action happened next. And then use the "when" with the second action while making the first action into a "past continuous" clause.

    However, both above mentioned sentences come from the same text book and in both sentences "Dave eating dinner" was the first action. Yet, in the first example the word "when" was attached to the first action and not the second.

    How would you explain why we have two very similar sentences which to me do not have that much difference? Would you say that "when" in these cases place more emphasize on the action that it precedes?

    I'm sorry for a confusing email. But I'd appreciate if you could help me to understand how to use "when clauses"

    Thank you!
    Minamax
    1. When Dave was eating dinner, the phone rang.

    This sentence, while not incorrect, seems contrived and unnatural.

    2. Dave was eating dinner when the phone rang.
    To say this in another way more naturally than in sentence 1, I would suggest, 'The phone rang while Dave was eating dinner.'

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