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past simple tense

 
 
Latolya
 
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 09:43 am
Hello there)
I'll be happy if you help me out with the following question.
What does it imply - when we talk about an action that happened in the past using the past simple tense with a time expression like in the sentence "I washed the windows at 6 o'clock yesterday",
A) I started to wash windows at 6
B) At 6 I was in the middle of washing
C) I finished washing at 6
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 796 • Replies: 12
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dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 09:57 am
@Latolya,
Lat the expr being somewhat vague, its user judges exact times unimportant
Latolya
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 10:08 am
@dalehileman,
I'm sorry, I don't see what you mean Sad
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 10:15 am
@Latolya,
Sorry Lat; A, B, and C more-or-less equally likely
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 10:30 am
@Latolya,
The events all happened in the past. The actions are complete and do not continue into the present. All your sentences meat that standard.

Does that help? I think I have understood the gist of your question.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 12:52 pm
@Latolya,
Quote:
What does it imply - when we talk about an action that happened in the past using the past simple tense with a time expression like in the sentence "I washed the windows at 6 o'clock yesterday",
A) I started to wash windows at 6
B) At 6 I was in the middle of washing
C) I finished washing at 6


It could mean any of the three, Latolya. That is simply a general comment wherein being exact isn't vitally important. If we want to be more exact, we can state that in a number of ways.

I'd say that a lot of native speakers would use 'around' rather than 'at', as in,

"I washed the windows around 6 o'clock yesterday",


0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 01:52 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:
All your sentences meat that standard.


Pork; beef; lamb

0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 02:08 pm
@Latolya,
Latolya wrote:

Hello there)
I'll be happy if you help me out with the following question.
What does it imply - when we talk about an action that happened in the past using the past simple tense with a time expression like in the sentence "I washed the windows at 6 o'clock yesterday",
A) I started to wash windows at 6
B) At 6 I was in the middle of washing
C) I finished washing at 6


A careful native speaker would only use the simple past, with a specific time, about an action that was either instant or complete at the time mentioned.

I left my house at six o'clock
I arrived at work at nine o'clock
I went to bed at midnight.
John stopped the car at three fifteen in the afternoon.
The king died at five forty-three exactly.

Since washing (or "cleaning" as we say in Britain) windows cannot be done instantly, if a native speaker said "I washed the windows at six o'clock" to someone, then that listener would probably want to ask the same questions that you have.


JTT
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 03:35 pm
@contrex,
Quote:
A careful native speaker would only use the simple past, with a specific time, about an action that was either instant or complete at the time mentioned.


If that was anything but a silly repetition stolen from some other silly grammar wag, one might think to give it some consideration.

Quote:
Since washing (or "cleaning" as we say in Britain) windows cannot be done instantly, if a native speaker said "I washed the windows at six o'clock" to someone, then that listener would probably want to ask the same questions that you have.


Of course that COULD happen, C. But to suggest that everyday language is so exact, that the vast majority of people would be at all interested in determining more exactly, the time span for this event is preposterous.

Hell, there is virtually no one, [native speakers], who asks questions about much more important things, for example, areas of the English language that confuse them badly, you included.

contrex
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 04:33 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
If that was anything but a silly repetition stolen from some other silly grammar wag, one might think to give it some consideration.


I actually speak like that, and so do most of the people I have ever mixed with since I was small. Your linguistic obsessions rival Hitler's racial ones, and have as much justification.
contrex
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 04:33 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
Hell, there is virtually no one, [native speakers], who asks questions about much more important things, for example, areas of the English language that confuse them badly, you included.


Here you really do post like a prick. You are an armchair warrior, a dickhead, and a popinjay.

JTT
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 04:46 pm
@contrex,
No, you don't speak like that all the time, C. As to the idea, you simply plagiarized it.

One would think that as an ESL teacher you would give more thought to things instead of just blurting out old nonsensical ideas gleaned from prescriptive style manuals.

Am I surprise that you responded in this typical fashion of yours? Yeah right!
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 04:53 pm
@contrex,
Am I surprised that you have responded in your usual fashion? Not in the least.

Quote:
A careful native speaker


Right out of Fowler or Lederer or any number of the idiotic prescriptive style books.
0 Replies
 
 

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