Mark read a book while i watched tv

Discussion in 'English Only' started by marco1122, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. marco1122 Senior Member

    italiana
    Hi, in my grammar book there is this sentence: Mark read a book while i watched tv.
    Why doesn't it use a past Continuos?

    Tanks

    MARCO
     
  2. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    Ciao Marco :)

    There are two verbs in your example. Which one do you want in the past continuous?
     
  3. marco1122 Senior Member

    italiana
    the second?
     
  4. boozer Senior Member

    Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    Mark read a book while I was watching TV.

    This is it, huh?
    It tells me that Mark probably completed a whole book, cover to cover, while I was watching TV. It was either a short book or a very long TV session on my part. :)

    PS. Why not, then:
    Mark was reading a book while I was watching TV.
    What would that tell you? :)
     
  5. hyperslow

    hyperslow Senior Member

    Polish
    From textbooks I have thumbed so far I have learnt that:
    I was watching TV while Mike was reading a book.
    I was watching TV when Mike poked his finger up his nose.
    I slipped on a banana skin when Mike gave me a pat on my back.

    It all depends on what you want to say,

    cheers
     
  6. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    :thumbsup:
    Changing the verb tenses changes the meaning. First you decide what you want to say, then you choose the verb!
     
  7. marco1122 Senior Member

    italiana
    This two actions was happening at the same time.
     
  8. DKas Junior Member

    then, if none of the actions performed have been completed yet you use the past continuos. But if Mark is done reading a book while you watch the tv you say "mark read a book (has finished to) while i was watching tv"
     
  9. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    There's no reason why it should, Marco.
    Mark read a book while I watched TV.:tick:
    Mark read a book while I was watching TV.
    :tick:
    Mark was reading a book while I watched TV.
    :tick:
    Mark was reading a book while I was watching TV.
    :tick:
     
  10. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    The word "while" means that these two actions were happening at the same time.
    The choice of tense will now depend on whether either action was completed during this time and whether it is the nature of the action or the continuity of the action that you wish to emphasize!
     
  11. marco1122 Senior Member

    italiana
    Ok but if two actions were happening at same time i can use past continuos or past for both verbs, rigth?
     
  12. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    See post 9:).
     
  13. Elwintee Senior Member

    London England
    England English
    Let's note the spelling of 'continuous'. The second 'u' is incorrectly missing in a number of the above posts. :)
     
  14. marco1122 Senior Member

    italiana
    ok, so these sentences have same meaning, right?
     

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