Frame 103 , Page 196 - Question 3. Past continuous or past simple?


The answer for (3) "The action was interrupted by something" is past continuous. But I don't understand why the answer is past continuous. I think the answer should be past simple.

ANSWER:

When the action that you are writing about was in progress before it was stopped or interrupted, you have an action that needs to be expressed in the past continuous tense.

For example, consider the following:

A coffin (a) was being moved when it (b) fell out of the wagon.

We have two verb phrases here: (a) "was being moved" and (b) "fell." Which verb phrase expresses the idea that the action was already in progress or happening before it was stopped by something? (a, b)

The answer is (a). The coffin was in the process of being moved when that process was stopped because the coffin fell out of the wagon.

The continuous action that got stopped or interrupted is expressed in the past continuous tense.

I hope this explanations helps.

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to ask them in the comments using the link that says, "Click here to post comments."

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish

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Frame 112, Page 178 - Do we use the present perfect simple when "since" is in the sentence?

If there is "since" in the sentence, does it mean that I should use the present perfect simple tense? When I was in high school, I learned that if the past time or date is exactly specified, we must use the past simple instead of present perfect simple.

ANSWER:

This is a good question because it shows that you are really thinking about what you're learning and making connections with what you have learned before.

Now, in answer to your question, let's begin by examining the information that we get involving the word "since." Let's look closer at the example that we find in this frame:

(1) It has been just 50 years (2) since anti-tuberculosis medicines were first developed.

We have two clauses here, and the second clause contains the word "since." You are right that there is a specific time indicated; it's the time that anti-tuberculosis medicines were first developed.

Let's now consider the meaning of the first clause without the verb phrase:

It...just 50 years

What does the 50 years refer to?

If we should draw a time line representing the statement in this example, it would look something this:


<-------------50 years----------->
/--------X--------------------------------/
past when anti-TB present
medicines
were first
developed

So what does the 50 years refer to in this statement: It...just 50 years. Does the 50 years refer to (a) or (b) as follows:

(a) the specific time when anti-TB medicines were first developed, or

(b) the duration of time between when the medicines were first developed and the present?

I'm sure you can see that the correct answer is (b). The 50 years refers to duration of time between the specific time when the medicines were first developed and the present.

When we refer to durations of time that continues to the present moment, we use the present perfect simple. That is why the complete expression in the first clause is:

It has been 50 years (rather than "It was...")

I hope this helps!

If you need further explanation, then ask me more questions in the comments using the link that says "Click here to post comments."

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish



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Frame123, Page 156 - Why is the answer to Question 2 "have seen" rather than "has seen"?


This is a question about subject-verb agreement like in Question 2. Why the answer is "have"? Isn't the subject "the equivalent"?

ANSWER:

Good question!

The word "equivalent" is a variable noun in that it may be treated as a singular or plural noun. It all depends on whether the speaker or writer intends to focus on "equivalent" as a single group or as members within the group.

In (2), the writer intends a view of "equivalent" that focuses more on the members within the group and what the individual members are doing, rather than on the entire group doing something as a single unit or entity.

Having said that, it would not be incorrect to write "has seen" for Question 2, and the answer should probably be changed to include both "have seen" and "has seen."

See also my answer to the question about Frame 48, Page 95, regarding the subject "public." A similar question was asked there, as well.

I hope this helps!

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish

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Frame 127, Page 148 - How can both (a) and (b) have the same tense?


Example (a) contains "by the start of 1812" and (b) contains "by the end of 1812." How can the two examples both have past perfect simple?

ANSWER:

You need to examine the meaning of the predicates for (a) and (b). The predicate of (a) talks about how Napoleon had conquered most of Europe. The predicate of (b) talks about how Napoleon's reputation had been broken by the Russians.

In these predicates, we have two completely different meanings that correspond to the different meanings in the phrase that starts each example--"by the start of 1812" in (a) and "by the end of 1812" in (b).

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Professor iEnglish

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Frame 128, Page 146 - What is "Moment"?


I cannot understand the "Moment." The book explains that the "Moment" is before what the action or situation expressed in the past perfect simple tense had taken place or existed. I thought that I understood it...But in doing the exercises later, I became confused about it. Please explain it to me with more details.

ANSWER:

The "moment" that is referred to in this and following frames is the moment in past time before which something else already happened.

Consider this time line:


Moment
/----------X----------------X-------------/
past past perfect present
action or
event that
already happened

The idea you need to grasp is that the action or event that is expressed in the past perfect simple always happens before another earlier time, action or event. This earlier point in time is what the iEnglish 202 book refers to as the "moment."

The purpose of recognizing the "moment" in the i202 exercises is to train your mind to think of the past perfect simple in relation or reference to an earlier point in time in the past.

I hope this helps! If you'd like further explanation, ask me more questions about this frame using the link that says, "Click here to post comments."

Alternatively, ask me a related question about another frame that involves the "moment."

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish

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