Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    English

    :)

    Thank you for the help! I have one more question on grammar.
    QU: What is the mistake in this sentence, and how would you explain the mistake?

    "Why didn't you answer the telephone? Because I had a bath?"

    I see that the mistake is "I had." It should be "I was having." Would I be right in saying that this is because "I had" refers to an event that could have occurred any time in the past but "I was having" implies that the person was in the bath at the time of the phone call?

    Thank you!

    Annie

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    74,153
    You're right about 'having'. 'Had' is unclear about the time, while 'having' suggests not finished.

  3. #3
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,546

    Re: English

    Quote Originally Posted by L-A
    "Why didn't you answer the telephone? Because I had a bath?"
    I suggest that you revise that. As it is it seems to be the caller who is taking a bath, and that doesn't make sense. Try:
    • Why didn't you answer the telephone? Is is because you were taking a bath?


    :)

  4. #4
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    24,562

    Re: English

    Quote Originally Posted by L-A
    :)

    Thank you for the help! I have one more question on grammar.
    QU: What is the mistake in this sentence, and how would you explain the mistake?

    "Why didn't you answer the telephone? Because I had a bath?"

    I see that the mistake is "I had." It should be "I was having." Would I be right in saying that this is because "I had" refers to an event that could have occurred any time in the past but "I was having" implies that the person was in the bath at the time of the phone call?

    Thank you!

    Annie
    When you use "had" that way, it implies that people who bathe don't answer telephones. The progressive nature of "having" implies that the bath was occurring at the time of the call. :wink:

Posting Permissions

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