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Hi everybody,

There is this sentence:

'She sang softly, as she beat the eggs.'

A book states that these verb tenses are good. Only Past Simple and Past Progressive matter in this particular expression (and in connection with my question).

Are the following statments true (I just tried every possible combination and tried to explain them)? Please help me understand these, correct me these, etc. .

1. She sang softly, as she beat the eggs.

It is good because we know that the duration of these action is limited/ended and there isn't anything which would indicate a new meaning in the case of using continuous form.

2. She was singing softly, as she was beating the eggs.

This is good but not so good because it doesn't add any plus information in this particular case.

3. She sang softly as she was beating the eggs.

Is it possible? Does it mean 'She started singing at some point during beating.' in this raw form (~ it is not indicated with something such as 'started')?

4. She was singing softly as she beat the eggs.

It seems the worst of these four possibilities. It hardly can be good.

Furthermore, I guess, mixed usage (= 1 past continuous - 1 past simple or 1 past simple - 1 past continuous) always cause a change in the meaning (similarly to the 3. possibility) if there are at least 3 possible combinations.

I asked it once but I think it is now at the bottom of the heap of questions. That is the reason why I try it again in a new post. That is the old post:

http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/QuestionAboutVerbTensesSimplePast-PastContinuos/bgvbwm/post.htm

fivejedjon helped me but I still don't understand it clearly.

Thanks for your help/answer in advance.
Comments  
1. She sang softly as she beat the eggs.
2. She was singing softly as she was beating the eggs.
3. She sang softly as she was beating the eggs.
4. She was singing softly as she beat the eggs.
Every one of these is good.
The verbs "sing" and "beat" are innately continuous, so the use of continuous tenses is only a stylistic device for emphasis.

#2 stresses that both activities were continuous and happened simultaneously. Stylistically it is not appealing.
Thank you, AlpheccaStars Emotion: smile

1. Could you mention dynamic verbs which are not innately continuous? I have a guess but I'm NOT sure. Just to mention an example for this: the verb 'ring' (in the case of clocks and mobile phones). It would be momentary but it is longer if I let my mobile to ring for minutes (when it wakes me up in the morning). Is it (or something similar) the logic or it has strict rules?

2. Do these four sentences mean the same? Even in mixed use (#3 and #4)?

Thanks for your answer in advance.
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Hole One a New See1. Could you mention dynamic verbs which are not innately continuous?
By definition, dynamic verbs can be used in the continuous tenses.
"ring" is certainly a dynamic verb.
Hole One a New See2. Do these four sentences mean the same? Even in mixed use (#3 and #4)?
Yes, it is simply a matter of style.
Thank you Emotion: smile

By definition, dynamic verbs can be used in the continuous tenses.
It is clear but I don't understand your point here:

The verbs "sing" and "beat" are innately continuous, so the use of continuous tenses is only a stylistic device for emphasis.
Does it mean that the tenses could be good in Simple Past in cases of every other dynamic verb (if it makes sense)? Every four combination would be possible in case of every other verbs (EXCEPT state verbs)?

Thanks for your answer in advance.
Hole One a New SeeDoes it mean that the tenses could be good in Simple Past in cases of every other dynamic verb (if it makes sense)? Every four combination would be possible in case of every other verbs (EXCEPT state verbs)?
"Making sense" is the key.

For example, jump is a dynamic verb. It can be used in the continuous:

She was singing and jumping rope.
She jumped rope and sang.
(etc)

But sometimes it is a single action, and it does not make any sense in the continuous:

He jumped off the bridge and killed himself.
X He was jumping off the bridge and killing himself.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Thank you very much, AlpheccaStars Emotion: smile

Very illustrative (good) example Emotion: yes

And I didn't know this 'jump rope' thing. But I think google pictures explained the meaning.