"I remember xxxxx at that time getting more and more depressed, he got worse and worse "

I don't undrestand why it is not he was getting worse and worse (because getting depressed and the immediate consequence getting worse and worse take a long time . Both are "process" Is it because worse and worse implies a continuous thing so it is no use choosing a continuous tense

  • ok so why not he got more and more depressed because if he stopped getting worse he also stop getting depressed so both have an end – Yves Lefol Nov 1 '20 at 14:21
  • I deleted my comment because I don't think it was really correct. I'm a native speaker but of course analysing language is not identical to understanding it, I get it wrong sometimes, that's part of why I enjoy answering :-) Let's hope somebody comes along who'll do a better job – Croad Langshan Nov 1 '20 at 14:28

The writer could have used the continuous form.

The use of non-default aspecual forms in English (continuous forms, perfect forms) is nearly always optional, depending not on external circumstances, but on how the speaker is choosing to present the temporal relationships and contours.

In this case, the speaker had already used a continuous aspect in the first clause, choosing to present it as a continuing process. As I say, they could have done so in the second half, but it was not necessary, because that presentation was already there.

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    I think on purely stylistic grounds it's far better not to keep unnecessarily repeating the more complex continuous verb form in the specific cited example. In many other contexts, consistency would be the deciding factor, but not if it comes at the cost of adding [significant] unnecessary complexity. – FumbleFingers Nov 1 '20 at 15:27
  • does that mean that he got worse and worse in this case have both significations the continuous thing and the completed thing (at one point he stopped getting worse ) – Yves Lefol Nov 1 '20 at 15:43
  • @YvesLefol:Not sure quite what your question is. You can't deduce anything about whether he stopped getting worse or not, The simple past is what linguists call the unmarked, which doesn't necessarily make such distinctions. If you used a simple past on its own, without preceding it with a continuous form, then the fact that the speaker had chosen to present it as a completed fact might suggest that the process had finished; but paired with a continuous form like this, it doesn't even have that implication. – Colin Fine Nov 1 '20 at 19:38

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