Is it correct to say:

"I was filling in my application form as my teacher was watching at me" and "She wasn't listening to his wife while she was talking to him" ?

Thank you in advance.

  • Both are correct, but it sounds better to use "while" instead of "as" in the first one. Also, "filling out" is more common than "filling in" in AmE. And, you would not use "at me," just "me"
    – Eli Harold
    Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 17:37
  • 1
    But it's filling in in British English. Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 17:41
  • @KateBunting weird
    – Eli Harold
    Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 17:46
  • I feel like if I visited the UK I wouldn't understand anyone xD
    – Eli Harold
    Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 17:47

3 Answers 3


The first should not say "at me," but instead just "me." Also, "while" sounds better than "at." So the first one is not correct because of "at me", and the best way to write it would be:

I was filling in my application form while my teacher was watching me.

British English uses "filling in." In AmE "Filling in" usually means "to replace someone for a task, or job" ("I am filling in for john in the kitchen today") So for forms, or check sheets and the alike, "filling out" is more commonly used in American English.

The second sentence sounds better with "when" instead of "while" IMO, but it is correct as is...


Both are correct. Two actions went on simultaneously.

  1. I was filling in... teacher was watching...

  2. She wasn't listening to... she was talking to...

fill in= fill out

watching me or looking at me (NOT watching at me)

while my teacher was (NOT as my teacher was)


The question is less about correctness than about normal usage.

The continuous is most often used in such a context to say what someone was in the act of doing when something happened.

I was filling in/out my application form when the roof collapsed.
I was out walking my dog when it started to rain.

In your example, I would prefer:

My teacher was watching me while I filled in/out my application form rather than doubling up on the continuous form.

But this is a matter of preference and context rather than grammar.

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