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    #1

    had/was stopped


    I was/had stopped at the sign, waiting for my turn to move ahead because the traffic was very heavy that morning, when I guy hit the back of my car.


    I was stopped under the shelter, waiting for the rain to go away.

    Hi,

    Are this sentences fine, please?

    "I was stopped" sounds wrong to me and "I stopped" doesn't convey the idea of something that "was happening".

    Thanks.
    Last edited by jctgf; 20-Dec-2008 at 13:23.


    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #2

    Re: had/was stopped

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post

    I was/had stopped at the sign, waiting for my turn to move ahead because the traffic was very heavy that morning, when I guy hit the back of my car.


    I was stopped under the shelter, waiting for the rain to go away.

    Hi,

    Ate this sentences fine, please?

    "I was stopped" sounds wrong to me and "I stopped" doesn't convey the idea of something that "was happening".

    Thanks.
    Was stopped is fine if it is a passive sentence.

    I was stopped at the sign (by the traffic officer).

    Otherwise, (if the car was stopped by you and not someone else) I think the past perfect is a good choice; nonetheless, if you used the past simple (I stopped) the narrative timeline would still be clear from context.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Tuvalu
      • Current Location:
      • Tuvalu

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,860
    #3

    Re: had/was stopped

    Quote Originally Posted by colloquium View Post
    Was stopped is fine if it is a passive sentence.

    I was stopped at the sign (by the traffic officer).

    Otherwise, (if the car was stopped by you and not someone else) I think the past perfect is a good choice; nonetheless, if you used the past simple (I stopped) the narrative timeline would still be clear from context.
    Thanks a lot.

    Only one more doubt, please.

    Can I say "I was stopping at the sign, when a guy hit the back of my car."?

    The meaning changes a little bit, I think, since now I'm saying that the car didn't come to a complete stop when it was hit. My concern, however, is about the grammar.

    Another example would be "I was stopping at the traffic light the other day, when a drunk guy tried to pull my watch through the car window".

    Thanks.
    Last edited by jctgf; 20-Dec-2008 at 14:05.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810
    #4

    Re: had/was stopped

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    Thanks a lot.

    Only one more doubt, please.

    Can I say "I was stopping at the sign, when a guy hit the back of my car."?

    The meaning changes a little bit, I think, since now I'm saying that the car didn't come to a complete stop when it was hit. My concern, however, is about the grammar.

    Another example would be "I was stopping at the traffic light the other day, when a drunk guy tried to pull my watch through the car window".

    Thanks.
    The past continuous is possible, but it perhaps sounds a little strained in your sentences.

    We use the past continuous tense to refer to something which was in progess. The beginning and end of the action/event is not the focus of the information. We often contrast the past continous tense with the completive past simple tense; we do this to signify that something happened while something else was happening.

    I was walking home when she rang me on my mobile.

    Now with a sentence like yours:

    I was stopping at the traffic light the other day, when a drunk guy tried to pull my watch through the car window


    If, by chance, the drunk tried to steal the watch from the driver at exactly the same moment as the driver was braking and bringing his car to a halt, not one second before or after, then the sentence would simply be reporting what happened.

    But... how long does it take to stop a car?

    About 2 - 4 seconds maybe?

    It doesn't take long, and for that reason it sounds strange to say

    I was stopping my car when.....

    Such a sentence implies that what happened during the "stopping" must have happened in a matter of seconds; however to offer creidt to your sentences, thieves normally are very quick!



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