simple past vs simple continuous

uktous

Senior Member
cantonese
hi,

When I studied for my BSc degree in Maths, there was training in MS Word.

When I was studying for my BSc degree in Maths, there was training in MS Word.

I guessed that the above 2 sentences should be grammatically correct.

Which sentence is more suitable and better?
 
Last edited:
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    hi, anyone can tell me any difference between them?
    Yes, I'll try:

    1. When I studied for my BSc degree in Maths, there was training in MS Word.

    2. When I was studying for my BSc degree in Maths, there was training in MS Word.

    In the absence of irony, 2. carries more easily than 1. the suggestion that the training in MS Word is no longer part of the degree, to my ear.

    I say more easily, because a lot lies in the intonation here. I think 1. lends itself to a straight explanation of the facts, but people use a form like 2. when they want to be a sarcastic: you know someone is doing a BSc. in Maths, and they happen to say thay can't handle Word. If you are a very irritating person you might say When I was studying for my BSc degree in Maths, there was training in MS Word. In other words, I know very well you should be trained in MS Word because it's part of your university course, but you must be too stupid to have understood that part.

    On the other hand to express simple surprise, with no such obvious element of criticism - remember a lot lies in the intonation - you could say When I studied for my BSc degree in Maths, there was training in MS Word. This, on the lips of a sincere, kind, person, could be no more than an expression of surprise that the other doesn't know how to handle Word.


     
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