intricate roots of a banyan tree

user_gary

Banned
India - Hindi
The sportsmen never saw a tiger, nor did they shoot anything else, though they saw number of deer, peacock, and wild board. They were giving up all hope of finding a tiger, and were beginning to shoot at jackals, when Grandfather, strolling down the forest path at some distance from the rest of the party, discovered a little tiger about eighteen inches long, hiding among the intricate roots of a banyan tree. Grandfather picked him up, and brought him home after the camp had broken up. He had the distinction of being the only member of the party to have bagged any game, dead or alive.


I got confused because of usage of `when' in the highlighted sentence between two[They were giving......... and Grandfather strolling down.....] different activities.

Could anyone assist me, why `when' is used in the highlighted parts?
 
  • mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    user_gary
    I don't get to see anything on my computer that is highlighted. When is used, because two things are happening simultaneously. Everybody else on the tiger hunt was resigning to the fact that they weren't even going to see a tiger. At that same time, while everyone was perhaps conceding that no tiger would be seen, Grandfather, who was taking a stroll, came upon a tiger cub.

    When is not just a question word that has to do with the time something occurs, but is also used when something happens at the same time as another thing.

    Examples:

    He was already putting away his hunting gun when a flock of the biggest, plumpest geese we had seen since Thanksgiving flew over.

    (Instructions to a track runner) You come off the starting block when you hear the starting pistol fire.

    "I'll consider letting you use my car when pigs fly!" (which means, Never will these things happen at the same time!)
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    The sportsmen never saw a tiger, nor did they shoot anything else, though they saw number of deer, peacock, and wild board. They were giving up all hope of finding a tiger, and were beginning to shoot at jackals, when Grandfather, strolling down the forest path at some distance from the rest of the party, discovered a little tiger about eighteen inches long, hiding among the intricate roots of a banyan tree. Grandfather picked him up, and brought him home after the camp had broken up. He had the distinction of being the only member of the party to have bagged any game, dead or alive.


    I got confused because of usage of `when' in the highlighted sentence between two[They were giving......... and Grandfather strolling down.....] different activities.

    Could anyone assist me, why `when' is used in the highlighted parts?

    In a sentence like this one, try removing the parts between the commas to see if it makes more sense ie:

    They were giving up all hope of finding a tiger, and were beginning to shoot at jackals, when Grandfather, strolling down the forest path at some distance from the rest of the party, discovered a little tiger about eighteen inches long, hiding among the intricate roots of a banyan tree.

    The parts between the commas in this sentence are simply descriptive and if you remove them, it becomes clearer.
     
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