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The woman who lives in flat 2 broke her leg skiing.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by brian&me, Dec 25, 2016.

  1. brian&me

    brian&me Senior Member

    Chinese - China
    Merry Christmas to you, friends.

    My question is as follows.

    The woman who lives in flat 2 broke her leg skiing.
    (from an exercise book)

    I think ‘skiing’ means ‘when / while she was skiing’ or ‘when she skied’. What do you say?

  2. cointi Senior Member

    That's exactly what it means.
  3. heypresto

    heypresto Senior Member

    South East England
    English - England
    Assuming the woman only broke her leg once, it means 'when/while she was skiing'.

    If she broke it every time she went skiing, then you could say 'when she skied'.

    Let's hope it was the former. :)
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  4. cointi Senior Member

    An interesting comment, heypresto. I remember reading somewhere here that while expresses the continuous aspect in itself, so the past continuous is not obligatory in such sentences and the past simple can be used with no change in meaning. What are your thoughts?
  5. DonnyB

    DonnyB Sixties Mod

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I've read in grammar textbooks that "while" is a very common way of indicating that a continuous tense is the best choice to use. Certainly in that particular example, "while she was skiing" is the obvious choice for me. I'm not altogether sure that "She broke her leg while she skied" works idiomatically there, in fact.
  6. cointi Senior Member

    It doesn't sound good to me, either. I would never say it myself, I was just remembering somebody's comment on the matter. I wonder if it is outright ungrammatical to say She broke her leg when she skied.

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