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    #1

    simple past/past progressive

    1. They were watching TV when Tony ___ his car.
    (A) wash (B) was washing (C) washed (D) would wash
    The answer is option B. Is option C aslo acceptable?
    2. The little girl didn't say anything but ____ there quietly.
    (A) just sat (B) was just sitting (C) just was sitting
    The answer is option A. Is option B also acceptable?
    Last edited by sitifan; 09-Apr-2009 at 04:31.

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    #2

    Re: simple past/past progressive

    Dear sitifan:

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    1. They were watching TV when Tony ___ his car.
    (A) wash (B) was washing (C) washed (D) would wash
    The answer is option B. Is option C also acceptable?No. 'They watched TV while Tony washed his car.'
    2. The little girl didn't say anything but ____ there quietly. 'B' is awkward.
    (A) just sat (B) was just sitting (C) just was sitting
    The answer is option A. Is option B also acceptable? 'The little girl didn't say anything. She was just sitting there quietly as they asked her question ofter question.'
    I hope this is useful,

    Petra

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    #3

    Re: simple past/past progressive

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    1. They were watching tv when tony ___ his car.
    (a) wash (b) was washing (c) washed (d) would wash
    the answer is option b. Is option c aslo acceptable?
    i think c is acceptable. The mixing of tenses doesn't make it wrong. (and they are both past tenses)

    2. The little girl didn't say anything but ____ there quietly.
    (a) just sat (b) was just sitting (c) just was sitting
    the answer is option a. Is option b also acceptable?
    again, i think b is acceptable.

    what i find awkward in this sentence is the presence of "but", as there is no real contrast.

    i prefer, 'the little girl didn't say anything; she (just sat)(was just sitting) there quietly.'
    2006

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    #4

    Re: simple past/past progressive

    I'm afraid I don't agree. I think

    1. They were watching tv when tony ___ his car.
    (a) wash (b) was washing (c) washed (d) would wash


    requires (b) as its answer. Choosing (c) is jarring, because it sounds as though there is a sequence of events, as in, 'We were watching TV when the bomb went off.' In fact, the sentence is trying to say that the activities were simultaneous. If 'when' were replaced with 'while', (c) would work.

    Also,

    2. The little girl didn't say anything but ____ there quietly.
    (a) just sat (b) was just sitting (c) just was sitting
    the answer is option a. Is option b also acceptable?

    again, i think b is acceptable.

    what i find awkward in this sentence is the presence of "but", as there is no real contrast.

    There is a contrast implied between 'just sitting there' and ''saying anything'. The implication is that in the situation the child might have been expected to say something, but did not.

    Petra

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    #5

    Re: simple past/past progressive

    My sister __ while you __ happily.
    (A) studied; played (B) was studying; were playing (C) studied; were playing (D) was studying; played
    The answer is option B. But I think all the options are acceptable. Am I right?

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    #6

    Smile Re: simple past/past progressive

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    My sister __ while you __ happily.
    (A) studied; played (B) was studying; were playing (C) studied; were playing (D) was studying; played
    The answer is option B. But I think all the options are acceptable. Am I right?
    Option B is the best answer. Option A is also acceptable, though.


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    #7

    Re: simple past/past progressive

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    1. They were watching TV when Tony ___ his car.
    (A) wash (B) was washing (C) washed (D) would wash
    The answer is option B. Is option C aslo acceptable?
    2. The little girl didn't say anything but ____ there quietly.
    (A) just sat (B) was just sitting (C) just was sitting
    The answer is option A. Is option B also acceptable?
    1. BC -- I prefer C (tense simplification)
    2. A -- B? Not really; I do not see any reason to express the action of sitting is in progress.

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    #8

    Re: simple past/past progressive

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    My sister __ while you __ happily.
    (A) studied; played (B) was studying; were playing (C) studied; were playing (D) was studying; played
    The answer is option B. But I think all the options are acceptable. Am I right?
    Dear sitifan:

    You are right, they all work. I don't think any one of the answers is preferable to another, unless you were asked to single out a specific tense. It would depend on what image you wanted to create in the reader/listener's mind.

    All best wishes,

    Petra

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    #9

    Exclamation Re: simple past/past progressive

    Quote Originally Posted by pyoung View Post
    Dear sitifan:

    You are right, they all work
    I don't want to be nasty, but could you possibly provide me with one explanation to each of the options, so that I can understand all the four options as being acceptable?

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    #10

    Re: simple past/past progressive

    Quote Originally Posted by pyoung View Post
    I'm afraid I don't agree. I think

    1. They were watching tv when tony ___ his car.
    (a) wash (b) was washing (c) washed (d) would wash

    requires (b) as its answer. If I were answering this question on that exam, I would choose (B) because that is almost certainly what the examiners expect. But the question is whether (C) is acceptable or not.


    Choosing (c) is jarring, because it sounds as though there is a sequence of events, as in, 'We were watching TV when the bomb went off.'
    But the fact is that the bomb went off at the same time the TV watching was going on. There is no sequence.


    2. The little girl didn't say anything but ____ there quietly.
    (a) just sat (b) was just sitting (c) just was sitting
    the answer is option a. Is option b also acceptable?
    again, i think b is acceptable.

    what i find awkward in this sentence is the presence of "but", as there is no real contrast.

    There is a contrast implied between 'just sitting there' and ''saying anything'. The implication is that in the situation the child might have been expected to say something, but did not.
    I think that's an unjustified assumption.


    Petra
    The bottom line for me is that mixing of tenses is not a grammatical mistake, and native speakers often do it. And I don't think you have to use while.
    They were playing rugby when the President gave his speech.
    They played rugby when the president was giving his speech.

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