a breeze was blowing/ a breeze blew

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drinkwater

Senior Member
Taiwanese Mandarin
Hi. Here's an exercise excerpted from Understanding and using English grammar:

It was beautiful yesterday when we went for a walk in the park. The sun was shining. A cool breeze ______. The bird was singing.

The answer is "was blowing" and it sounds to me like that certain breeze started blowing before they went to the park, and it didn't stop throughout their strolls in the park.

That doesn't seem logical to me; I don't think there will ever be a breeze that continuously existed for so long in the park. I mean I might accept that if the sentence were "cool breezes were blowing".

Where did I go wrong with it? Can anyone explain it to me? Thanks for the help.
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The verb chosen has no effect on the subject's being definite or indefinite. The meaning of breeze does not include a duration - a breeze could blow continuously for days if the weather conditions were stable. The sentence a cool breeze was blowing is normal, everyday English.
     

    drinkwater

    Senior Member
    Taiwanese Mandarin
    The verb chosen has no effect on the subject's being definite or indefinite. The meaning of breeze does not include a duration - a breeze could blow continuously for days if the weather conditions were stable. The sentence a cool breeze was blowing is normal, everyday English.
    What if I say "a cool breeze blew" in this case? Thanks.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, but then you would probably want to change the other descriptions as well
    The sun shone. A cool breeze blew. The birds sang.
    That becomes rather abrupt - the original is much better as a description of a lazy, sunny day
     

    drinkwater

    Senior Member
    Taiwanese Mandarin
    Is there any difference to you mister, between these two sentences ("a breeze was blowing" and "a breeze blew") in this case if you leave out "the sun was shining" and "the bird was singing"?

    Thanks for the help.
     
    Last edited:

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    No difference in meaning. My decision to use one or the other would depend on the context and the general impression or feeling that I was trying to give to the reader or listener.
     
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