ahmed_btm posted:
Ahmed Imam Attia posted:

Hello. I think the following two tenses are correct. What do you say?

When Hana came home, her sister (washed - was washing) the dishes.

Thank you.

Both choices are correct, but have different meanings.

Yes, with the simple past in the main clause ("When Hana came home, her sister washed the dishes"), the natural interpretation would be that Hana's sister began to wash the dishes right after Hana came home.

With the past progressive ("When Hana came home, her sister was washing the dishes"), the meaning is that her sister was washing the dishes at the time at which Hana arrived back home. The arriving occurred in the midst of the washing.

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