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Here are two sentences:

1. "I didn't expect you were gonna invite Mike to the apartment!" (actually Mike is invited)

2. "I wasn't expecting this phone call." (actually it happens)

I'd like to know the difference between these two usages, Thanks a lot.
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There's frequently no difference in actual meaning between the simple tenses and the continuous/progressive tenses. You could swap the verb forms in your two examples without any real effect.

As you might expect, the "continuous" tenses stress the continuing nature of the action. Of course there are certain particular verbs which don't work well in the continuous, or vice versa.

I wasn't expecting you to invite Mike to the apartment.

I didn't expect this phone call.
Thank you, Avangi. I'm still a bit confused by the "continuous" tenses stress the continuing nature of the action. I mean, if there is a little slight difference, as you said that continuous tenses (wasn't expecting) stress thecontinuing nature of the action, what is it? What do you mean by continuing nature, could you please give me an example? Emotion: smile
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It depends a lot on the particular verb. Some verbs describe a state or a condition which is continuous by it's very nature.
I expect/expected to give birth in mid January.
I am expecting/was expecting to give birth in mid January.
Even though the condition is continuous in both examples, with the second one we have a greater sense that it's "on my mind."

I made the call at two-thirty.
I was making the call at two thirty.
This pair describe an act rather than a condition.
Although we know that it takes some time to make a call,
we consider the first one an event and the second one a process.
With the second one, we suspect that something may have interrupted me while I was making the call.
AvangiWith the second one, we suspect that something may have interrupted me while I was making the call.
Exactly. The past continuous is often used to set up a background activity against which a salient event occurs.

I was making the call at 2:30 when an elephant suddenly crashed through the roof holding this week's winning lottery ticket in its trunk.

So when somebody says to me, "I was making the call at 2:30", I say, "OK. And then what happened?"

CJ
aleilei1. "I didn't expect you were gonna to invite Mike to the apartment!" ...

2. "I wasn't expecting this phone call."

... difference ...
Very little difference to my ear. In a way, the two are incomparable. One is about a person inviting another person. The other is about a phone call. It's hard to compare usages when the contexts are so different.

As it stands, the first sentence could give the impression that I hope you didn't think I harbored some secret desire for you to invite Mike. The second sentence, being about something inanimate, could not give that impression.

CJ
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Got it. Thank you guys, I really appreciate it.
Hi teachers,

"I was making a call when...."

"I was making a call" - Does that mean "I'm in the middle of dailing the number"? or Does that mean "I was in the middle of talking to the receiving end"?

Thank you.

Tinanam
It can be understood as describing the act of dialing, but it's more often understood to include the conversation.

This looks like a good job offer. Do you think I should call him back? (reply) Make the call!

This would be understood to include completing the conversation.

"I was making a call when.."

"I was just placing the call when a bolt of lightning knocked out the power."

The yellow one could be taken either way. The next one would probably be understood as "just dialing."

I was just making the call to my bookie when I heard the horse was scratched. (You were probably talking to him.)
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