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Context:

A pregnant lady got into the bus bus and I did not offer her my seat. After alighting from bus my friend asked me"

Que: Why didn't you offer your seat to that pregnant lady?

a) I did not offer my seat to that pregnant lady because I sat on the last seat in the bus.

b) I did not offer my seat to that pregnent lady because I was sitting on the last seat in the bus.

c) I did not offer my seat to that pregnant lady because I was seated on the last seat in the bus.

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  • a) and b) are correct in my opinion. By the way, you should offer your seat to pregnant ladies :)
    – holydragon
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 4:30
  • @ holydragon.....Indian roads are so much bumpy..... :-)
    – user4084
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 5:08
  • Note that there's some ambiguity here. "The last seat on the bus" could mean "the last seat that was empty when I got on" and it might even be in the front of the bus where things are not bumpy. To make it more clear, you could say, "the seat at the very back of the bus" instead. Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 15:07
  • @ Thanks Canadian .... U r correct .... Plz tell me if my a) Version of answer is Correct or not ?
    – user4084
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 15:25

2 Answers 2

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I presume that you are talking about what happened when the pregnant lady got onto the bus: you didn't offer her your seat (bad you!). The lady getting onto the bus is a single event, so you use simple past to describe it.

the lady got onto the bus.

If a second event occurs, you would also use simple past:

I sat down at the same time as the lady got onto the bus.

If you were in the middle of doing something when the first event occurred, you would used past continuous:

I was sitting when the lady got onto the bus.

In your example, you were in the middle doing something (sitting) when you decided not to offer your seat to the pregnant lady. Option b) is therefore correct.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, seated can be used as an adjective meaning sitting, so option c) is also correct.

Option a) is not appropriate because it would be taken in this context to refer to a single event.


Note that you can use simple past to describe a habitual action in the past, if you specify a time period:

When I was at school, I sat next to Claire Johnson.

Or to describe a situation that went on for some specified time:

I sat next to Claire all evening.

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  • Hi Thanks for the answer..... But I just want to mention that I was already seated on the Last seat which is generally so bumpy than fist seat. I wanted to say that just because I sat on the last seat (at that movement) I did not offer my seat to her. Not the event occurring that time.
    – user4084
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 8:54
  • Pregnant lady was standing while I sat on my last seat.
    – user4084
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 9:21
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The correct option is b. Because here, you want to describe the verb that had its effects throughout the event. If you use the past tense and not the continuous, it'd mean that only for one spot or time, you sat; the event was then over. But you want to justify that as you were sitting, on the last seat, you did not offer the seat.

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