0

"It took a long time, but at last it arrived. Note that the seller explained (while I was waiting) why it took so long."

last time I asked this question I was answered that "took" implies that the wait was over and the thing was received . In this case it is not logical with the form "was waiting " because if I received the thing I am not waiting for it as suggested by "was waiting"
Am I wrong?

4
  • Please use the ">" symbol to separate quoted text from your original text. I assume that only the first sentence in this post is quoted, right? Sep 3, 2022 at 16:14
  • yes only the first sentence is quoted
    – Yves Lefol
    Sep 3, 2022 at 16:44
  • But now you have the first two sentences quoted. And you haven't used the ">" symbol, which greatly improves clarity. Sep 3, 2022 at 16:53
  • no sorry both sentences are quoted
    – Yves Lefol
    Sep 3, 2022 at 16:57

2 Answers 2

0

Note that the seller explained (while I was waiting) why it took so long.

That is correct and grammatical. while I was waiting is parenthetical in your version and does not affect the use of two verbs in the simple past.

Other ways to say it:

  • Please note that the seller explained why it took so long while I was waiting.
  • While I was waiting, please note that the seller explained why it took so long.

We generally say in addressing a reader or a person: Please note

"while I was waiting" is an explanation to the reader or interlocutor and does not affect the completed verb action.

  • While I was waiting, the man started the car and sped off.
2
  • why does it not affect the verbs in the simple past I don't understand very well sorry! Is it because it is parenthetical ?
    – Yves Lefol
    Sep 3, 2022 at 17:10
  • @user5577 No, it doesn't affect them because it means: during the time that person was doing something, A and B happened. These types of adverbial clauses are most often used with the simple past: I was waiting when he arrived. While I was waiting, he arrived.
    – Lambie
    Sep 3, 2022 at 17:28
0

The natural version to me would be "The seller explained why it was taking so long" (if the wait was still going on).

15
  • i think like you. ln fact my sentence is The seller explained whIle I was still waiting why it was taking so long.
    – Yves Lefol
    Sep 3, 2022 at 18:21
  • @user5577 Your version does not work: "The seller explained whIle I was still waiting why it was taking so long" It has to be parenthetical like your original sentence or one of my versions. Kate has rewritten your sentence completely. It's fine but not the same thing.
    – Lambie
    Sep 4, 2022 at 16:53
  • "Please note (while I was waiting), the seller explained why it was taking so long " does it work ?Why must "while I was waiting" be parethetical?
    – Yves Lefol
    Sep 5, 2022 at 5:06
  • Please note that, while I was waiting, the seller had explained to me why it was taking so long. I have used the past perfect tense because this happened before the item arrived. Sep 5, 2022 at 7:39
  • But"while I was waiting" implies that I haven't received the item so past perfect does not seem obligatory.
    – Yves Lefol
    Sep 5, 2022 at 11:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .