1. At 7 pm yesterday, I was sitting on the chair, looking at the lake but I (wasn't seeing or didn't see) anything strange

  2. While I was walking on the street, I found a wallet, I was looking around to give it back but I (wasn't seeing or didn't see) anyone

  3. I was looking for him for 2 hours ,but I (wasn't seeing or didn't see) him

OR all the sistuations are only correct with the past simple

  • 2
    Didn't see is fine in all three sentences (or couldn't see if you were actively looking for something). Dec 6, 2022 at 14:47
  • Correct spelling "situation"
    – James K
    Jan 6 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


"didn't" would be the usual way of saying it.

But "wasn't" can be grammatically correct. As always, context is important.

I was looking at the lake for what seemed like hours, but no matter how hard I studied it I wasn't seeing anything strange, not until Bill pointed out that what looked like a log was actually something quite different. And then I was seeing something strange, and wishing I weren't.

The use of "was" make it an on-going action, not simply something that happened.

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