all. Is it natural to use past tense "asked" after "so we were talking…" or should I use "ask" instead?

I met with three of my best friends earlier today. We meet once a month to chat. As girls do. So we were talking and I asked one of my friends this question about her boyfriend...

1 Answer 1


It's absolutely natural. We were in the process of talking, and I asked the question. It indicates that the question was asked during the continued process of talking. Compares to:

I was riding a rollercoaster and I barfed.

  • Would you please add some note about the other variant? The present tense I mean.
    – Cardinal
    May 21, 2020 at 18:27
  • 3
    I don't think any native speaker would use the present there. In narrative, people sometimes use the present to make the narrative more exciting, but in that case the previous verb would have been present as well: "We're talking, and I ask one of my friends about ... "
    – Colin Fine
    May 21, 2020 at 18:30
  • Thank you @ColinFine!
    – Cardinal
    May 21, 2020 at 18:34

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