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Dear Sir,

please have a look on both the attached photos and tell if the two sentences are grammatically accurate or not. Also if I said “ from 9 to 11 yesterday, I watched a movie or I was watching a movie “ which tense should be used here the simple or the continuous and why?

the two attached photos are from different resources.
thanks alot.

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Last edited by Mahmoud Jamea
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Hi, Mahmoud Jamea,

Dear Sir,

please have a look on both the attached photos and tell if the two sentences are grammatically accurate or not. Also if I said “ from 9 to 11 yesterday, I watched a movie or I was watching a movie “ which tense should be used here the simple or the continuous and why?

the two attached photos are from different resources.
thanks alot.

Both tenses are correct.  One uses the progressive aspect answering the question 'What were you doing from 9 to 11?' and the other uses the simple aspect answering the question 'What did you do from 9 to 11?' Here, context is everything.

From 'A Practical English Grammar', by Thomson & Martinet:

"The past continuous can be used as an alternative to the simple past to indicate a more casual, less deliberate action."

a. From four to six, Tom was washing the car.

(This would indicate that this was a casual, possibly routine work.)

b. From four to six, Tom washed the car.

(This implies a deliberate action by Tom.)

Hi, Mahmoud and Ahmed,

“ from 9 to 11 yesterday, I watched a movie or I was watching a movie “

@ahmed_btm posted:

a. From four to six, Tom was washing the car.

(This would indicate that this was a casual, possibly routine work.)

b. From four to six, Tom washed the car.

(This implies a deliberate action by Tom.)

The progressive also emphasizes the ongoing nature of the action and may indicate that the action was not completed:

- I was watching a movie from 9 to 11 yesterday. (Perhaps the movie lasted longer than 2 hours.)
- Tom was washing the car from 4 to 6. (Perhaps he did not finish washing it and went on to do something else after 6.)

Instead, the simple form makes clear that the action was completed:

- I watched a movie from 9 to 11 yesterday. (The speaker saw the entire movie.)
- Tom washed the car from 4 to 6. (It took him two hours to wash the car.)

Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

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