Dear friends,

I am a student who study English as my second language, what a surprised i found out this website, i'm so glad to join in this community ,if any rules i should obey your kindly advice will be appreciated!

Here comes my question, how to understand the grammar of this sentence? what is the tense when someone said this sentence? i can't understand why use  "was coming " here.

"We knew spring was coming as we had seen a robin."

 

Best regards 

Erica Chan

Last edited by Erica Chan
Original Post

Hello, Erica, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange.

@Erica Chan posted:
what is the tense when someone said this sentence? i can't understand why use  "was coming " here.

"We knew spring was coming as we had seen a robin."

Your formulation of your question contains some grammatical mistakes. I am bypassing them here so that I can answer your question efficiently.

The tense of "was coming" is past. "Was" is the singular past tense of the verb "be." "Was" is being used as a progressive auxiliary here. The auxiliary verb carries the tense. "Coming" is the main verb; it is the present participle of the verb "come." The combination "was coming" forms the past progressive.

"Was coming" means "was approaching" here. The season was in the process of changing from winter to spring. Winter was going. Spring was coming.

Thank you ,David. 

Your explanation helps me a lot to understand this sentence, after read your letter , I've searched more related information in the internet and i guess i has already understand the past continuous tense.

About the wrong description of my question that you've mentioned at last letter , is that this sentence yet ? "what is the tense when someone said this sentence?"In that time ,i was trying to describe " i don't understand the grammar of this sentence."

But anyway, thank you so much for point out my mistake ,i think the best way to learn second language is talk more with native speaker or someone who is pleasant to help you. Thank you ,my friend,have a nice day ~

 

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