This morning I was getting up at 7:30/ this morning I got up

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by fanuchy, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. fanuchy

    fanuchy New Member

    Hi everyone!
    I would like to show you a doubt that occurred to me just yesterday. My daughter was learning the past continuous and she had to do an exercise to use it. She had to describe her routines in the past (obviously...). The fact is that she wanted to begin by the "getting up" action. Bearing in mind that she was adding specific time information in each sentence, is it correct to say?:
    At 7:30 this morning, I was getting up. At 8:30, I was ....(washing my teeth, having breakfast...), or it would sound better to say:
    At 7:30 this morning, I got up and at 8:30 I was washing my teeth...

    The problem is that the second option sounds more natural to me in the sense that get up is not an action that takes it long, I mean that it would be more similar to an stative verb than a continuous verb. I'm not comfortable using a progressive form with this verb, you know...
    What do you think?
    Thank you so much!!!!
  2. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spain. Left more than two years ago

    In my opinion, you would only use the past simple in this particular case, not the progressive or continuous: I got up at 7.30. Then I cleaned/brushed my teeth ... Several actions, finished, routine. The simple past is the normal tense for talking about the past, so you use it if you don't have a special reason for using the past progressive or other tenses; for example, background events, talk about something that was in progress around a time, temporary actions and situations, etc.

    You might want to have a look at the British Council. It's a bit of a summary.

  3. aztlaniano

    aztlaniano Senior Member

    Lavapiestán, Madrid
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    If it is a routine, you'd use the simple present: At 7:30 I get up. At 7.40 I have breakfast. Etc. I do it every day.
    "This morning I was getting up" seems all right to me when referenced to a specific time.
    Eg. What were you doing this morning at 7:30? I was brushing my teeth. At 7:30 I was brushing my teeth. (By 7.31 I may have been doing something else, but at 7:30 I was engaged in brushing my teeth.)
  4. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spain. Left more than two years ago
    Eso es, Az, este es el uso al que yo me he referido como "something that was in progress around (a particular past) time". Pero me gustaría dejar claro, esta vez en español para los que no dominen tanto el inglés y se puedan estar perdiendo un poco, que el 'past continuous' no es adecuado en este contexto. Y yo creo que en este caso es igual que en castellano; cuando hablamos de nuestra rutina diaria, no decimos tal cual: "Me estaba levantando a las siete y media y me estaba lavando los dientes a las ocho y media ..." sino "Me levanté ... y me lavé los dientes ...".
  5. fanuchy

    fanuchy New Member

    Completamente de acuerdo, por eso me había quedado tan perpleja cuando le han hecho usar el past continuous para relatar lo que había hecho el día anterior...
    Para rutinas habituales yo usaría el simple present y para routines in the past usaría el simple past.
    Supongo que no querian liar con más usos del past perfect que son más adecuados..
    Muchas gracias!

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