While I was having dinner, I was talking to my husband.

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sunnyweather

Senior Member
Polish
Hello,

Does it sound natural:

While I was having dinner I was talking to my husband.

I know It's be OK to say:

I was having dinner and talking to my husband.

I think that when we use 'While I was doing something' and we follow it with subject + past continuous again
the second subject must be someone else, not us again. Am I right?

e.g. While I was having breakfast my parents were sleeping.

or While I was going to work I saw my classmate.

but maybe we can use the same subject in such a situation too, talking about two parallel activities done by one person at the same time

e.g. While I was tidying up my room I was listening to music.

I'd appreciate your help.
 
  • Forero

    Senior Member
    Hello,

    Does this sound natural:

    While I was having dinner I was talking to my husband.:tick:
    Yes.
    I know it's be OK to say:

    I was having dinner and talking to my husband.:tick:

    I think that when we use 'While I was doing something' and we follow it with subject + past continuous again
    the second subject must be someone else, not us again. Am I right?
    No.
    e.g. While I was having breakfast my parents were sleeping.:tick:

    or While I was going to work I saw my classmate.:tick:

    but maybe we can use the same subject in such a situation too, talking about two parallel activities done by one person at the same time

    e.g. While I was tidying up my room I was listening to music.:tick:

    I'd appreciate your help.
    There is no reason to worry about whether the subject is the same.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I was having dinner and talking to my husband.
    It doesn't sound very 'natural' to me.

    The past continuous is often used to describe what was happening when something else happened.
    -While I was talking to my husband he dropped dead.
    -My husband dropped dead whil we were eating supper.

    The continuous is often used to contrast activities.
    -While I was cooking supper and he was giving the baby a bath, the doorbell rang.
    The OP sentence would more naturally be expressed as "While we were having supper, we talked".
    There are several other ways of expressing this idea, such as " We talked over supper", "We ate/had supper as we talked".
     
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