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Hello dear experts, could I rephrase the following sentence without any changes in the meaning? What are differences in the meaning of these two sentences?

My family lived in Australia for a year when I was a child. to===> My family WAS LIVING in Australia for a year when I was a child
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A for-phrase of time contradicts the basic meaning of the past continuous tense. Those two grammatical elements are seldom combined.

The past continuous expresses an "open time period". There is no definite beginning and no definite end, so there is no way of knowing how long it lasts. The phrase for a year limits the time period by saying how long it lasts, so it indicates a "closed time period". That's the contradiction between the verb form and the for-phrase.


There is a more detailed discussion of this topic in the thread below.

Simple Past Tense with a FOR a duration of time phrase


Basic takeaway from all this:

If you want a for-phrase of time in your sentence, and you want it in a past tense, use the past simple, and not the past continuous.

CJ

Comments  
Abbas Rajabpourcould I rephrase the following sentence without any changes in the meaning?

No.

Abbas RajabpourWhat are differences in the meaning of these two sentences?

The first is right and means that for one unbroken year during the period of time when you were between birth and whenever you stopped being a child, you and your family lived together in Australia. The second is nonsense because of the tense.

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.

Hello. I'm no expert, but I'd like to share my personal view on this one 😄!

Grammer-wise, both are correct. The second, however, may sound a bit odd/confusing to some as then it seemingly is trying to encapsulate childhood, all of it, in year-length time, whereby it, Speaker's childhood, sounds like it occured within that one-year time window. It could make more sense if you, say, for example added:

My family was living in Australia for a year when I was a child in second grade.

 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.