Hi guys,

I am currently struggling with Past
Continuous + Simple Past and I like
to know if I can switch the -ing(s ).

Please see below:

Example 1:
When Karen arrived, we were having dinner.
= We already started dinner before Karen arrived.

Can I also say:
When Karen was arriving, we had dinner.
= Is this possible and does the meaning changes?

Example 2:
I was walking home when I met Dave.
= I was in the middle of walking home when I met Dave.

Can I also say:
I was meeting Dave when I walked home?
= Is this possible and does the meaning changes?

Thanks a lot for your help in advance!

Regards,
Marc
Marc2010I am currently struggling with Past
Continuous + Simple Past and I like
to know if I can switch the -ing(s ).

Example 1:
When Karen arrived, we were having dinner.
= We already started dinner before Karen arrived.
Conceptually and grammatically, I see nothing wrong. You can also rearrange the sentences to come up with this:
When Karen arrived, we were having dinner.
We already started dinner before Karen arrived.
We already started dinner When Karen arrived
Marc2010Can I also say:
When Karen was arriving, we had dinner.
= Is this possible and does the meaning changes?
Can I also say:
When Karen was arriving, we had dinner.
= Is this possible and does the meaning changes?

Again, grammatically, it's not wrong, but conceptually, it makes little sense in terms of the duration of each event.

Example 2:
I was walking home when I met Dave.
= I was in the middle of walking home when I met Dave.
Yes.

Can I also say:
I was meeting Dave when I walked home?
= Is this possible and does the meaning changes? No and yes

Regards,
Marc
Thanks for your quick respond but I am still not sure

what word a native speaker would say with the -ing form.

Does it depend on what was more important for me that moment?
Meaning that the more important thing gets the -ing form?

Example: I was having a coffee when the meeting started.
Important for me is that "I was having a coffee..." less important is that the meeting started. Emotion: smile

Same Example: I had a coffee when the meeting was starting.
Important for me that "The meeting was starting..." but less important that I had a coffee.

Sorry for the bad description of the question.

Thanks again in advance for your effort!

Marc
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Marc2010Example: I was having a coffee when the meeting started.
Important for me is that "I was having a coffee..." less important is that the meeting started. Emotion: smile
No, It's not a matter of "importance" that is being considered in this context; rather it's the duration of the each event. Let's say you were on a 15 minute coffee break (while you were sipping and enjoying you coffee), and within this time, the meeting began. Note: the begining of the meeting is brief. Once it was begun, the beginning process ceased. So the progressive form follows the longer event which was having coffee. I am not a professional so this is the best I can explain it.
Graphically, this may help. Think of it this way: I was taking a showing when you called me last night.
[ my shower began ---------------> when you called-----------shower finished]

So [ I was having coffee ------------->when meeting started ---------finished cofffe]
Marc2010I am currently struggling with Past Continuous + Simple Past
If you are just beginning your struggle with these tenses and how they combine in sentences, begin by mastering the following patterns. You can learn variants of these later.

... -ed (simple/event) ... while + -ing (continuous/activity)
... -ing (continuous/activity) ... when + -ed (simple/event)

while is followed by an expression that describes an activity.
when is followed by an expression that describes an event.

Do not use the continuous tense (-ing) with the event; do not use the simple tense (-ed) with the activity.

In each of these, an event occurred during the period of time that the activity was taking place. So the activity is like the background against which we see the event.

I met Dave while I was walking home.
I was walking home when I met Dave.

Karen arrived while we were having dinner.
We were having dinner when Karen arrived.

The phone rang while Susan was taking a shower.
Susan was taking a shower when the phone rang.

The order of clauses shown above is the most natural to my ear. I think it sounds less natural to put the while or when clause first, though that order is also used (with a comma).

While I was walking home, I met Dave.
When I met Dave, I was walking home.

CJ
CJ, you made explaining English so easy![Y]
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dimsumexpressCJ, you made explaining English so easy!

Thanks! But note that these are just the basics, not allthe possible variants! Emotion: smile

CJ
CalifJimBut note that these are just the basics
Easy for you to say Emotion: big smile For me to logically and systematically lay out examples in the organized format like yours, I have to do some thinking
Thank you ALL so much for the explanations!

Now I got it!

Have a great weekend!

Regards,
Marc
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