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17 votes

Perfect fit for a grammatical error

3 and 4 are both grammatically correct, though 4 is clearly the most natural, so it is the correct answer according to the wording of the question, "the most appropriate option". 4 is ...
gotube's user avatar
  • 50.9k
13 votes
Accepted

weren't playing vs didn't play

Okay, so this is a very specific answer to a very specific question. In this specific case, where there are sports teams involved, there's actually a difference in how I, as a native speaker of ...
SamBC's user avatar
  • 22.8k
9 votes
Accepted

.... I was being! / what does it mean?

When BE is cast in the progressive construction (BE + present participle), it describes the subject's current behavior, as opposed to his more or less permanent nature or character: I was being ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

I'm very tired because I travelled for several hours this morning

I dispute your premise. (2) sounds perfectly fine to me, and I am a native speaker. Consider the following, which has exactly the same grammatical form:   I'm very tired because I travelled all day ...
user21820's user avatar
  • 1,460
6 votes
Accepted

Past Perfect Continuous vs Past Simple

As is often the case with aspectual distinctions in English (perfect or not; continuous or not) both are possible, depending on how the speaker is choosing to present the temporal structure of the ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 75.9k
6 votes
Accepted

I repaired/was reparing my bike from 2 to 4pm

The difference is in whether you are choosing to present the activity as a completed whole, or as a process that continued. That is all. There is no objective difference. There are no implications ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 75.9k
5 votes
Accepted

"had walked" vs "was walking"

With "I had walked," it separates the walking and seeing. Therefore, that chronological order suggests the following: Started walking down road Finished walking down road Saw Dan Stopped ...
Ethan Chapman's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

"...she had not been attending class" or "...she was not attending class"?

The usage of past perfect continuous indicates that the classes were before the exam. Past continuous would indicate that the exam occurred in the middle of the classes that she missed. Past perfect ...
JavaLatte's user avatar
  • 60k
5 votes

Using past continuous to refer to past habits with adverbials of frequency?

They're all grammatical. You could say In those days, I was taking the train to work every day. In those days, I took the train to work every day. In those days, I would take the train ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 129k
5 votes

weren't playing vs didn't play

Complementing the British English perspective provided by SamBC, here's an American English perspective (more specifically Midwestern American English). There's a slight linguistic difference between ...
Austin Hemmelgarn's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

"Words were different when they (lived / were living) inside of you"

It is correct. There is no grammatical requirement for clauses following the "when" conjunction to be in the continuous tense, especially not with verbs like "live" that already indicate a state, not ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
5 votes
Accepted

Difference between Past continuous and Past perfect continuous

I think the sentence is wrong, it should either be "they had been playing football since 10 o'clock, meaning they started at ten and continued until a later time, or "they were playing football at ten"...
anouk's user avatar
  • 3,954
5 votes

I repaired/was reparing my bike from 2 to 4pm

In terms of literal meaning, they are equivalent. The difference is one of emphasis. Main Events The first reason to use the past continuous is to emphasize the main event of some story. If several ...
George K.'s user avatar
  • 2,106
5 votes
Accepted

Past Perfect vs Past Continuous

These don't break any fundamental grammar rules, but are oddly phrased and not very natural. "Last year" in many contexts refers to calendar years, (so last year was 2022) You could say, &...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
4 votes
Accepted

Past Perfect vs Past Perfect Continuous

Your interpretations of the sentences are mostly correct, except for this one: When I last went to Moscow, they had been renovating St Basil's Cathedral. To me, this means that when you last went ...
LMS's user avatar
  • 5,562
4 votes
Accepted

is it possible to use the past continuous with before?

Certainly. As with many choices of aspect in English, either is possible, and differs only in how the speaker wishes to refer to the events. The choice of watched implies that, for the purpose of the ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 75.9k
4 votes
Accepted

Can I use "Have been" with "Until" in this sentence?

It's not really correct, because "have been dealing" is the present perfect continuous (which is a present tense like the name says, talking about a present status!) but "until I stumbled" is talking ...
stangdon's user avatar
  • 40.9k
4 votes

I was meeting vs. I met

As is very often the case with tenses in English, both are possible, depending on how you are choosing to view the temporal structure of the events, rather than on an objective difference in the ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 75.9k
4 votes

Before the party: Question about the past perfect continuous tense

In OP's first version, he was happy at time of speaking (the time when he was telling people about being happy). In the second version, he was telling them about having been happy at some earlier ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

I am reading or I was reading a book?

Like Colleen said, in spoken English you can say whichever makes sense to you or feels right in the moment. Either response would be perfectly natural. It might be a little more common to say "I'...
randomhead's user avatar
  • 21.1k
4 votes

Simple Past and Past Progressive - both possible in cases with defined period of time - Thomson (1986) says it should be Simple Past

In this case, the fact that the time-frame for playing football is "well-defined" (precisely specified) isn't relevant to the choice of tense - except that #2 would be far less likely if the ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Is " advertise" ok in this case?

to advertise for something is what you do when you are trying to get/obtain/find that something. So advertising for a concert doesn't make much sense (since "trying to obtain a concert" is ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 75.9k
4 votes

Past Perfect vs Past Continuous

You are still employed as a manager: For the past year, I have been working as a manager. You are no longer employed as a manager: Until recently, I was working as a manager. (Up) until two months ...
TimR on some device's user avatar
3 votes

Is the following usage of past progressive correct?

The difference: Continuity. No, they are not interchangeable. Your first sentence does not specify or imply a termination of the event. Although everyone knows that the Nazis were indeed defeated,...
dockeryZ's user avatar
  • 1,856
3 votes

Using past continuous to refer to past habits with adverbials of frequency?

"He was going for a morning walk every day" is an unlikely form. The "used to" pattern would be preferred for this meaning: "He used to go for a morning walk every day". Simple past is also possible "...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
3 votes

Can this case be considered a substitution for the past continuous and future continuous tense

To me, as a native American English speaker, it seems reasonable to consider it a substitution for the past continuous. The sentence is more or less synonymous with: He left the stage while the ...
noah's user avatar
  • 1,643
3 votes

The baby was sleeping or slept?

Both of the sentences about babies are correct, but they mean slightly different things. The former (... was sleeping...) suggests that something happened (or could have happened) and caused a change ...
Upper_Case's user avatar
  • 1,472
3 votes

I lived Vs. I was living

Both sentences are grammatically correct but they imply different things. Because of this, one of them will be the better choice depending on the context. It is this match between hint and context ...
Gossar's user avatar
  • 736
3 votes
Accepted

is the past simple possible here?

Yes ... but it doesn't really make much of a difference. Either was living or lived suggests the situation was temporary. For example: When I was swimming every day, I got pretty tan. The ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 88.4k

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