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Is it correct to say

She saw Henry when she turned on the television

Or should I say

She saw Henry when she was turning on the television?

And should I say

I met Anne when I went to the supermarket?

Or will it be

I met Anne when I was going to the supermarket?

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  • We are more likely to use past tense for a brief action and past progressive/continuous for a lengthy one. e.g. She saw Henry when she turned on the television and She saw Henry when she was hanging out the washing. Apr 26, 2017 at 18:27

1 Answer 1

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The usage changes the meaning, but both sentences are grammatically correct.This applies to both the examples you've given.

I met Anne when I went to the supermarket.

suggests that you could have met Anne inside the supermarket.

I met Anne when I was going to the supermarket.

suggests that you were in the process of going to the supermarket; you weren't inside it.

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