Can you explain which of the below sentences is grammatically correct and why?

  1. I watched you playing with them.
  2. I watched you play with them.

I have a grammar correction app which suggests the first format while some sentences I read in media go with the second format.

  • 1
    As a natural english speaker, I would say that we hear the second more commonly, but both sound correct to me Feb 10, 2018 at 18:31

2 Answers 2


I watched you play with them. [Recounts a past event. I was not at the movies at the time.]

I watched you playing with them. [Recounts a past event where the focus is on the activity playing. I didn't see any cheating.]

That is the slight difference between those two sentences.

They are both correct.


I am also a learner and I find the difference difficult to comprehend as well. In the first sentence you watched while "you" was in the process of playing, whereas in the second sentence you watched from the beginning to the end.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .