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  1. whitechalk's Avatar
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    #1

    Question "Often" in the past... why?

    Am confused. Which one is the best answer, and why? Please tell me.

    I often______________in the river when I was young.

    A. swim
    B. swimming
    C. swam
    D. was swimming

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "Often" in the past... why?

    Which do you think?

    b

  3. whitechalk's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "Often" in the past... why?

    I think it should be "swam" as the phrase "when I was young" is there. Some friends of mine argue on this. They said that "swim" should be the answer because of the word "often". Can anyone explain in more detail, please.

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "Often" in the past... why?

    Quote Originally Posted by whitechalk View Post
    Am confused. Which one is the best answer, and why? Please tell me.

    I often______________in the river when I was young.

    A. swim
    B. swimming
    C. swam
    D. was swimming
    As it refers to the past with 'when I was young', you have to use 'swam' unless you use 'used to', in which case you can say 'I often used to swim...'.

  5. whitechalk's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "Often" in the past... why?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    As it refers to the past with 'when I was young', you have to use 'swam' unless you use 'used to', in which case you can say 'I often used to swim...'.
    Thank you, bhaisahab.

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "Often" in the past... why?

    Quote Originally Posted by whitechalk View Post
    I think it should be "swam" as the phrase "when I was young" is there. Some friends of mine argue on this. They said that "swim" should be the answer because of the word "often". Can anyone explain in more detail, please.
    Bhaisahab has explained in more detail. From the point of view of technique (how to approach questions like this):

    B - 'swimming' on its own isn't verbal.
    A - you need to match the tense of 'when I was young'.

    The choice between C and D isn't so easy. The clue is the word 'often' - which tells you it's referring to a habit ('often swam') and not to an event ('often was swimming'.

    b

  7. whitechalk's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "Often" in the past... why?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Bhaisahab has explained in more detail. From the point of view of technique (how to approach questions like this):

    B - 'swimming' on its own isn't verbal.
    A - you need to match the tense of 'when I was young'.

    The choice between C and D isn't so easy. The clue is the word 'often' - which tells you it's referring to a habit ('often swam') and not to an event ('often was swimming'.

    b
    I agree with you that D cannot go with was verb+ing. It sounds funny.

    Let me try these:

    1. I often swam in the river when I was young;

    2. We often played hide-and-seek many years ago;

    3. Mr. Chong often scolded us when we were young.

    4. Mum often baked us cakes when we were still school-going.

    5. Uncle Joe often took my brother and I for a ride when he was with us many years ago.

    And, thank you, BobK.

  8. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: "Often" in the past... why?

    Quote Originally Posted by whitechalk View Post
    I agree with you that D cannot go with was verb+ing. It sounds funny.

    Let me try these:

    1. I often swam in the river when I was young;

    2. We often played hide-and-seek many years ago;

    3. Mr. Chong often scolded us when we were young.

    4. Mum often baked us cakes when we were still school-going.

    5. Uncle Joe often took my brother and I for a ride when he was with us many years ago.

    And, thank you, BobK.
    They are all fine.

  9. BobK's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: "Often" in the past... why?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    They are all fine.
    1-3:
    4: the adjective 'school-going' goes before its noun - 'when we were of school-going age' (possibly, but that sounds a bit formal). Perhaps use something more wordy, like 'in the days when we were still young enough to be going to school'; or just 'in our school-going days'.
    5: he took 'my brother and me'.



    b

  10. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: "Often" in the past... why?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    1-3:
    4: the adjective 'school-going' goes before its noun - 'when we were of school-going age' (possibly, but that sounds a bit formal). Perhaps use something more wordy, like 'in the days when we were still young enough to be going to school'; or just 'in our school-going days'.
    5: he took 'my brother and me'.



    b
    Yes OK, I wasn't looking carefully enough, I was concentrating on the verb.

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