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Past Simple or Past Continuous Options
Mike1717
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 1:44:42 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 11/23/2021
Posts: 4
Neurons: 30
Hello,
Can you help me with the task?
1. Complete the text with the correct form of the Past Simple or Continuous.
Last year, I 1 (visit) the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. It was amazing. Artists from all over the world 2(perform) there for the whole month of August. Every Day we 3(See) different shows. My favourite band 4(play) so I really 5 (want) to see them. Unfortunately, they were so popular that they 6(sell) all the tickets while we 7(wait) in line to buy them. At first, I 8(not want) to see anything else that day but in the end we 9(See) another band and they 10 (be) really great too.
My answers:
1. visited
2. performed
3. saw
4. played
5. wanted
6. sold
7. were waiting
8. didn't want
9. saw
10. were

Thank you in advance for helping me out.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 2:20:38 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 35,686
Neurons: 249,594
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hello Mike.
Welcome to the forum.

#2 is definitely not "incorrect". It's a possible answer, but as the performances went on for a month, I'd say you COULD have used the progressive. "Artists from all over the world were performing there for the whole month of August."

#4 - I'd definitely use the progressive. It's the usual way to phrase it.
"The Beatles played at the Cavern Club." - it happened many times over an indefinite period.
"The Beatles were playing at the Troubadour in April 1969." (once, or maybe a few times over a limited period)
My favourite band were playing so I really wanted to see them. (It was one particular day.)

#9 is definitely correct, in the limitations of the question. However, more natural would be "At first, I didn't want to see anything else that day but in the end we went to see another band and they were really great too."

Nine out of ten - not bad at all!

EDITED to add: If you ever have the chance to visit Edinburgh for August, do it.
The Edinburgh Festival is great - but the Edinburgh Fringe is even better. Many of the musicians who are playing in the paid venues also play in the streets - plus there are a thousand or more "amateur" buskers. The musicians range from Andean Pan-pipe orchestras to Zimbabwean drum bands, and from classical string quartets to modern heavy metal bands (I even saw a didgeridoo band a couple of years ago) - plus tightrope-walkers, escape artists, jugglers, dancers - and, of course, lots of bagpipes!


FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 2:23:35 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 16,641
Neurons: 80,265
Mike1717 wrote:
Hello,
Can you help me with the task?
1. Complete the text with the correct form of the Past Simple or Continuous.
Last year, I 1 (visit) the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. It was amazing. Artists from all over the world 2(perform) there for the whole month of August. Every Day we 3(See) different shows. My favourite band 4(play) so I really 5 (want) to see them. Unfortunately, they were so popular that they 6(sell) all the tickets while we 7(wait) in line to buy them. At first, I 8(not want) to see anything else that day but in the end we 9(See) another band and they 10 (be) really great too.
My answers:
1. visited
2. performed
3. saw
4. played
5. wanted
6. sold
7. were waiting
8. didn't want
9. saw
10. were

Thank you in advance for helping me out.

All of them look good to me, but I'm conflicted about #7. When I read the paragraph, I automatically thought "waited" in line, and that seemed correct to me. However, "were waiting" also seems good when I think about it except for the sense of one thing having been done (tickets sold out) while another action is taking place (were waiting). Yet both actions occurred in the past.

The problem is that many people use "we were waiting" for plural subjects (we) and others use the simple past - "we waited". So it seems to me that both may be correct, but perhaps some of our grammar experts can shed some light on it.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 2:50:47 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 35,686
Neurons: 249,594
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
FounDit wrote: The problem is that many people use "we were waiting" for plural subjects (we) and others use the simple past - "we waited". So it seems to me that both may be correct, but perhaps some of our grammar experts can shed some light on it.
I'm no expert either, but I believe I've heard that (where there's a choice like there is here) the simple past is used more commonly by American speakers, whereas the progressive is more common in Britain and the old Commonwealth countries.
It sounds 'odd' since English people do seem to usually use the shortest phrasing where there's a choice, but that's what I remember from earlier similar questions.

The way I look at it, the tickets sold out (at a particular point in time) - simple past.
However it happened while the waiting in the queue was in progress. - progressive.
Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2021 5:43:53 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 6,369
Neurons: 1,382,661
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
It's all good except #7, which should be "waited".
Good job on that!
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 1:24:27 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 1,703
Neurons: 18,823
Wait a second. Don't you think that these are possible too?

1 was visiting
3 were seeing

I am no expert but it feels like these options are possible. However, 1 sounds as I spent there the whole of last year. But in theory it's possible.
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 10:57:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 16,641
Neurons: 80,265
Ivan Fadeev wrote:
Wait a second. Don't you think that these are possible too?

1 was visiting
3 were seeing

I am no expert but it feels like these options are possible. However, 1 sounds as I spent there the whole of last year. But in theory it's possible.


To use "was visiting" conveys the idea of the progressive tense, and to do that we would normally include the word "when", as in "Last year when I was visiting the Edinburgh Festival . . ." . This would necessitate rewording the first couple of sentences, however.

These changes shift the time frame to the past and the past progressive works in that case because it takes the listener back to the time of the actions performed and several of the choices would have to be changed. This rewrites the whole paragraph.

Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 11:57:14 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 1,703
Neurons: 18,823
FounDit wrote:
Ivan Fadeev wrote:
Wait a second. Don't you think that these are possible too?

1 was visiting
3 were seeing

I am no expert but it feels like these options are possible. However, 1 sounds as I spent there the whole of last year. But in theory it's possible.


To use "was visiting" conveys the idea of the progressive tense, and to do that we would normally include the word "when", as in "Last year when I was visiting the Edinburgh Festival . . ." . This would necessitate rewording the first couple of sentences, however.

These changes shift the time frame to the past and the past progressive works in that case because it takes the listener back to the time of the actions performed and several of the choices would have to be changed. This rewrites the whole paragraph.



But this is correct, isn't it?

Yesterday, I was visiting the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.


Plus, why not "Every Day we 3 were seeing different shows."

Mike1717
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 12:52:21 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 11/23/2021
Posts: 4
Neurons: 30
Is it possible to use verbs like "see", "hear" with the Past Continuous?
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 12:54:54 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 16,641
Neurons: 80,265
Ivan Fadeev wrote:
FounDit wrote:
Ivan Fadeev wrote:
Wait a second. Don't you think that these are possible too?

1 was visiting
3 were seeing

I am no expert but it feels like these options are possible. However, 1 sounds as I spent there the whole of last year. But in theory it's possible.


To use "was visiting" conveys the idea of the progressive tense, and to do that we would normally include the word "when", as in "Last year when I was visiting the Edinburgh Festival . . ." . This would necessitate rewording the first couple of sentences, however.

These changes shift the time frame to the past and the past progressive works in that case because it takes the listener back to the time of the actions performed and several of the choices would have to be changed. This rewrites the whole paragraph.



But this is correct, isn't it?

Yesterday, I was visiting the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.

Since you begin with "Yesterday" you are discussing the past, so you use past tense, "I visited". But if you want to describe some things that happened yesterday, there are several ways to do it. Using simple past describes them from today's point of view, but using the progressive shifts the listener back to yesterday and asks them to see it at the time it happened (I was/we were watching, I was/we were standing in line/they were playing, etc.) However, people will often shift between the two forms when describing something in the past.



Plus, why not "Every Day we 3 were seeing different shows."
Because you are talking about the past, you would say, "Every day (at that time in the past) we saw different shows". It's similar to saying, "Yesterday, we saw different shows". You are looking back from the present.


FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 12:56:19 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 16,641
Neurons: 80,265
Mike1717 wrote:
Is it possible to use verbs like "see", "hear" with the Past Continuous?


You can say, "We/they were hearing/we/they were seeing", otherwise, it would be past tense.
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021 1:32:24 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 1,703
Neurons: 18,823
FounDit wrote:
Mike1717 wrote:
Is it possible to use verbs like "see", "hear" with the Past Continuous?


You can say, "We/they were hearing/we/they were seeing", otherwise, it would be past tense.


FounDit, the matter is that Past Continuous is also a past tense.
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