Results 1 to 3 of 3
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,615
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    when sb was doing sth

    I walked into the garden, _______ Tom and Jim were tying a big sign onto one of the trees.
    A. which B. when C. where D. that

    The question above is taken from one of China's province's 2005 college entrance examination paper. The given answer is C. I'd like to know if we can also use 'when (= while)' for the answer.

    Could I ask native speakers to help me please? Thank you in advance.

  1. engee30's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 2,958
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Smile Re: when sb was doing sth

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    I walked into the garden, _______ Tom and Jim were tying a big sign onto one of the trees.
    A. which B. when C. where D. that

    The question above is taken from one of China's province's 2005 college entrance examination paper. The given answer is C. I'd like to know if we can also use 'when (= while)' for the answer.

    Could I ask native speakers to help me please? Thank you in advance.
    NOT A NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER

    If you wanted to use while or when, you would have to delete the comma; otherwise it's not possible to use either of the two and convey a similar meaning.
    Someone might, however, say that you could use while meaning whereas, to introduce the contrast between two situations:

    I walked into the garden, whereas Tom and Jim were tying...

    But to me, there is no parallelism between the two tenses used, and therefore the two sentences don't match.

    That's why the best answer is where.


    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,615
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: when sb was doing sth

    Thank you for the trouble you took, engee30.

    I wouldn't think a comma matters very much in this situation. Martin Hewings' ADVANCED GRAMMAR IN USE (Cambridge University Press, 1998), unit 95:
    The doorbell rang, as/when/while Dave was eating.
    Let's wait for native speakers to explain.

    Thank you again, engee30.

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
  •