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regarding this sentence: " While I was getting ready,I listened to music".Is the first action to listen or to get ready?.1-In my opinion the action of getting ready is the first and it is interrupted by the action of listening.

2-Don't we have to put the verb "listen" in past continuous because it's a durative verb?.In other words, can't we say " while I was getting ready,I was listening to music" instead of he first example because The action of listening takes time?
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Anonymousthe second subordinate clause.
This is confusing. There is only one subordinate clause, and that's the while clause. The other clause is the main clause.

The only thing you can do is get more experience in English, imitating the patterns that native speakers and writers use. Until then, maybe you could always use the continuous tense in the while clause. As for the main clause, you could also use the continuous tense there if it is a simultaneous activity, but use the simple tense if it is an "interrupting" event.

While Janet was sitting in the garden, a squirrel ran past along the fence.

While Janet was sitting in the garden, the squirrels were running back and forth along the fence.

The roof collapsed while the basketball team was practicing in the gym.
The coach was talking to the principal while the basketball team was practicing in the gym.

While I was taking a shower, the phone rang.
While I was taking a shower, the phone was ringing.

These guidelines probably don't cover all cases. You'll find exceptions. But if a particular sentence that you've written doesn't seem right, check with us on the forum.

CJ
Thanks Avangi for your help
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Thanks for your help.Regarding the second subordinate clause,it was a mistake and I know that there is only one subordinate.Thanks a lot
he listens to the radio when the phone rang? is this correct
witty bee 195 Is "He listens to the radio when the phone rang" ? is this correct?

No. When you say "He listens to the radio", you are:

- Describing a habitual action in the present. For example:

He listens to the radio every night.

or

- Stating a truth about a person. For example:

He listens to the radio for entertainment.

Thus, you can see that the present simple "listens" does not match with the past simple "rang" in that sentence.

Say:

He was listening to the radio when the phone rang.

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