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Snow Lau

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Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Hello!!

1)We had a wonderful meal and the food was really very delicious. We were eating happily and light music was played.

or

2)We had a wonderful meal and the food was really very delicious. While we were eating happily, light music was played.

The above sentence which is correct?

Thank you!!
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
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Snow Lau said:
2)We had a wonderful meal and the food was really very delicious. While we were eating happily, light music was played.

You could also write,

While we were eating happily, light music was playing/being played in the background. :D
 

Tomasz Klimkiewicz

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Sep 22, 2004
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Poland
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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but my non-native speaker's feeling is that the 'really very delicious' is too much of a good thing.

Some adjectives, such as 'delicious', 'excellent', 'marvellous' sound awkward when used with modifiers such as 'very', 'quite', etc.

Regards
 
T

TheMadBaron

Guest
^ I agree.

I think the problem with the first version is that it mixes tenses rather awkwardly....

"We had a wonderful meal. The food was delicious."
Simple past tense.

"We were eating happily"
Past continuous tense.

"light music was played."
Simple past tense again.

You could say "We had a wonderful meal. The food was delicious. We ate happily while light music was played."

This keeps the whole thing in the simple past tense.

The second version mixes tenses too, but it's okay....

"We had a wonderful meal. The food was delicious. While we were eating happily, light music was played."

Placing 'while' here prepares us for the transition between tenses.

Whether you'd use the first version or the second would perhaps depend on whether the narrative goes on to describe events at the time of the meal, or after it. If you wanted to describe events at the meal, you could end the sentence with 'playing'.
 
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