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She started to run when the rain started falling. The verb start in the past is started but here it denotes something happening currently or is it?

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aqua panda 86

She started to run when the rain started falling. The verb start in the past is started but here it denotes something happening currently or is it?

No. It does not denote anything happening currently. Everything in that sentence is about the past. The rain started falling (in the past), and then she started to run (in the past). It's just that one thing happened, and then another thing happened, but both are in the past.

CJ

Comments  
aqua panda 86The verb start in the past is started but here it denotes something happening currently or is it?

The verb start is in its past form as we refer to past.

We are starting now. Present Progressive because we are referring to the present moment.

We start for work at 8 every morning. Routine action.

We started for work at 9 yesterday. Past simple because we refer to yesterday.

aqua panda 86She started to run when the rain started falling.

She started to run when the rain started.

You can replace started with began to avoid the repetition.

She began to run when the rain started.

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aqua panda 86

She started to run when the rain started falling. The verb start in the past is started but here it denotes something happening currently or is it?

Falling in "Started falling" is a gerund. "Started" belongs to the verbs that can be followed by either a gerund or to-infinitve.

Ex:

1. She started to run. (Infintive)

2. She started running. (Gerund)

A gerund functions as a noun in the sentence #2. It is not a verb.

Note that both of the sentences above are in the past tense. We know that from the state of the verb"started". It's in the simple past tense.

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However, keep in mind that the ing-form can be used as verb in the past tense.

Ex:

Sarah was doing her homework yesterday.

The senetnce above is in the past tense, we know that from the auxilary verb "was". The ing-form of the verb "doing" refers to the continues state. So, this is called "The past continues tense. Even if we omitted "yesterday", the sentence would still be in the past continues tense.


I agree with vesuresh that it's better to avoid the repetition.

She began to run when the rain started falling.

She began running when the rain started to fall.

 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.