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Compare the the fallowing two :

  1. When reading a text instead of listening to someone speak, we miss out on the speaker’s intonation – that’s the way the voice rises and falls when speaking.
  2. When we are reading a text instead of listening to someone speak, we miss out on the speaker’s intonation – that’s the way the voice rises and falls when we are speaking.

If I wanted to say sentence one, would I say it like phrase 2? But are these both correct and have the same meaning? Are there any grammatical points here to learn about the way native English speakers talk?

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  • Mike, in English, anything at all in a sentence can be stressed and that changes the meaning. It is not the grammar per se. Try stressing one individual word at a time: The boy likes apples very much. Each time you stress a word, you add to the meaning. Unfortunately, little is taught in schools etc, about intonation.
    – Lambie
    Sep 5 '21 at 17:32
  • You can include or omit the subject and auxiliary verb (we are) in either or both places. It makes no difference to the meaning, and no particular combination is inherently "better" than any other - it's just a stylistic choice. Note that either or both could be given as [when] we speak / read [a text] (Simple Present rather than Continuous). Again, this is just a stylistic choice. Sep 5 '21 at 17:45
  • @Lambie Thanks for comments.
    – mike
    Sep 5 '21 at 18:00
  • @FumbleFingers Thanks.
    – mike
    Sep 5 '21 at 18:01

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