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Atatürk
Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2019 3:55:07 AM

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Her brother is drying the dishes while her sister washes them.

Her sister washes the dishes while her brother is drying the dishes.


Any difference in meaning?

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Romany
Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2019 5:02:48 AM
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No difference in meaning; but the second "the dishes" is extraneous in the second sentence, as it is in the first sentence.
Atatürk
Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2019 6:54:27 AM

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It means it is happening now, yes?

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Romany
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2019 4:52:18 AM
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Yes, "is drying" means it's happening right now.
sureshot
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2019 5:27:53 AM
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Atatürk wrote:
Her brother is drying the dishes while her sister washes them.

Her sister washes the dishes while her brother is drying the dishes.


Any difference in meaning?

____________________

The conjunction "while" means "during the time that". It also means "at the same time as something is happening".

In your sentences, you have mixed up the tenses for the two actions. "Is drying" is present continuous tense and "washes" is simple present indefinite tense. If you look up a grammar book, you will be able to understand their variety of uses. I would prefer to use the same tense for both the actions since they are taking place in the same time frame. In the given context, the use of present continuous tense is a better option as follows:

- Her sister is washing the dishes while her brother is drying them. OR
- Her brother is drying the dishes while her sister is washing them.

I prefer the former of these two sentences, since the action of washing the dishes precedes the action of drying them up. Sentence 1 follows this sequence.
Atatürk
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2019 8:25:48 AM

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Thank you, sureshot.

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Atatürk
Posted: Monday, January 21, 2019 8:27:50 AM

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Romany wrote:
Yes, "is drying" means it's happening right now.


Romany, my question is not just about "is drying", but the whole utterance:

Her sister washes the dishes while her brother is drying them.

What's your understanding regarding the time of the above as a whole? Do you take it as happening now, at the time of speaking?

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Atatürk
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 8:12:49 AM

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Joined: 10/25/2018
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Up...

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
Atatürk
Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2019 4:25:41 PM

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Joined: 10/25/2018
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Up, up...

Advice and classroom hints are one thing, grammar rules are another. Michael Lewis (1986)
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