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    #1

    past continuous - past perfect

    ---- you ---- your wife while you ---- in Italy?


    A) Didn't - meet / lived
    B) Didn't - meet / were living
    C) Weren't - meeting / were living
    D) Weren't - meeting / lived


    Which one is correct? I think C is correct but I am not sure of A.

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    #2

    Re: past continuous - past perfect

    Let's rule out C and D based on "meeting." One meets someone once. You may discuss the meeting (noun) later, but in fact, they met. Once. It cannot be a continuous (-ing) action. And now they know each other and are married and living happily ever after. You may change meeting to beating and the sentence makes sense, but - happily - that's not the intent.

    So now, debate options A and B. I see no difference in either.

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    #3

    Re: past continuous - past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Trex View Post
    ---- you ---- your wife while you ---- in Italy?


    A) Didn't - meet / lived
    B) Didn't - meet / were living
    C) Weren't - meeting / were living
    D) Weren't - meeting / lived


    Which one is correct? I think C is correct but I am not sure of A.
    B should be the correct answer.
    Of the two constructions below, the first is far more common.
    Something happened while you were doing something else.
    Something happened while you did something else.

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    #4

    Re: past continuous - past perfect

    Ah, great example Raymott. It also pointed out the "while" in the sentence, which suggests the "were living" solution.

    Had the sentence been, "You met your wife when you lived/were living in Italy" I would vote for the "lived" solution.

    Would you agree?

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    #5

    Re: past continuous - past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by jlinger View Post
    Ah, great example Raymott. It also pointed out the "while" in the sentence, which suggests the "were living" solution.

    Had the sentence been, "You met your wife when you lived/were living in Italy" I would vote for the "lived" solution.

    Would you agree?
    "When" would have made it more difficult.
    But I would still have chosen "were living", but that could be an individual preference.

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    #6

    Re: past continuous - past perfect

    So we can say

    while + past continuous is more like than while + simple past (while + simple past is not wrong, though )

    when + simple past / when + past continuous (which is more likey? equal? (It is generally taught students at school that simple past follow "when", then much to the surprise of the kids examples of when + past continuous come up. :))

    I think durative verb, punctual verb distinction also helps. meet is a punctual verb and happens instantly thus requires simple past. "live" like "work" is a durative verb and works with continuous tenses best, though they can also be used with simple tenses depending on the meaning conveyed. Do you agree?
    Last edited by Trex; 12-Oct-2008 at 09:19.

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    #7

    Re: past continuous - past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Trex View Post
    So we can say

    while + past continuous is more like than while + simple past (while + simple past is not wrong, though )

    when + simple past / when + past continuous (which is more likey? equal? (It is generally taught students at school that simple past follow "when", then much to the surprise of the kids examples of when + past continuous come up. :))

    I think durative verb, punctual verb distinction also helps. meet is a punctual verb and happens instantly thus requires simple past. "live" like "work" is a durative verb and works with continuous tenses best, though they can also be used with simple tenses depending on the meaning conveyed. Do you agree?
    Yes I do.
    This also accounts for why many native speakers give a different answer from the one given by the test writer. If they have been taught that "when" is followed by the simple past, then obviously the answer is "when I lived in Italy", no matter what a native English person would say.

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