At 7 o’clock this morning , my father <is working?> in the garden

sarah_bb5

New Member
Turkish
At 7 o’clock this morning , my father ……. In the garden .

a)is working - b)worked -
c)was working - d)works -

the true option is (c) but why can't we use (a) ?
may be we are talking at 4 am.

whenever we say this morning or this afternoon or
this evening , do we mean past or next ?

for example : Today at 6 o'clock , i was working or i am working ? which is true ?
confusing to me
 
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    At six o’clock today could be in the past or the future. E.g At six o’clock this morning my alarm went off. Or, At six o’clock today I will be catching the train home.
    If it was in the present it would probably start with “It is 6 o’clock in the morning and I am brushing my teeth”
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    It all depends on the time now. Usually, if you say "at 7 o'clock this morning", it means that you are talking now, later than 7am. So 7am is in the past. So you use a past tense.

    If you were predicting at 4am what your father was going to do three hours later, you would say At 7 o’clock this morning, my father will be working in the garden. But that's not one of your options.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    I didn't understand the above explanations.
    Can options "a" and "b" work too?
    I mean:

    At 7 o’clock this morning, my father is working in the garden. (Maybe we talk at 5 AM about future)
    At 7 o’clock this morning, my father worked in the garden. (Maybe we talk at 9 PM about past)

    Any thoughts?
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    You could say "This morning my father worked in the garden" but when you add the specific time you will want to tell us what he was doing that very minute. Maybe your father worked in the garden from 6:30 to 8:15 am. What was he doing at 5:45? We don't know. What was he doing at 8:30? We don't know. What was he doing at 7:00? He was working in the garden.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Then what about "is working"? Maybe we talk about future.

    At 7 o’clock this morning, my father is working in the garden. (Maybe we talk at 5 AM about future)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Then what about "is working"? Maybe we talk about future.

    At 7 o’clock this morning, my father is working in the garden. (Maybe we talk at 5 AM about future)
    This use of present progressive for the future is usually only for scheduled events. You could say that sentence if you were looking at his schedule for the day, but otherwise it's not normal. Without that additional context, that answer would not be correct.
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    This use of present progressive for the future is usually only for scheduled events. You could say that sentence if you were looking at his schedule for the day, but otherwise it's not normal. Without that additional context, that answer would not be correct.
    In that case:

    At 7 o'clock this morning my father is [scheduled to be] working in the garden.

    The words in brackets are an ellipse. You don't say them; they are understood.
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    If you are talking at 5a.m. about what you father will be doing at 7a.m that same day, you are talking about a future event and would use "will be working"

    If you are talking at 7a.m and you are reporting what your father is doing (now e.g at 7o'clock), you are talking about the present and use "is working"

    If you are talking at 9a.m. and reporting what you father did at 7a.m - i.e in the past, you use "was working"
     
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