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Hi, Omar,

@Omar Ahmed posted:

Is it OK to say "When opening the door, I saw a snake."? Is this use of "when + -ing form" which refers to a past action  mentioned in any grammar reference?



It could work if you mean to say 'While I was opening the door, I saw a snake.' 'When + v.ing' can also be used with repeated or habitual actions.

@Omar Ahmed posted:

On opening the door, I saw a snake?

This means 'As soon as I opened the door, I saw a snake.'

From 'Longman Dictionary Of Common Errors', page 356:

× × × When hearing that the child had been found, she burst into tears.

√√√ On hearing that the child had been found, she burst into tears.

"To show that two things happen at the same time or that one thing happens immediately after the other, use on/upon doing sth (NOT when)"

- 'On examining the suitcase, he noticed that the locks had been tampered with.'

Here's a link to a related thread:

https://thegrammarexchange.inf...3#693899972910075993

Hi, Ahmed_btm said:

1-''On / When seeing the snake, I felt frightened. (This is a unique action, so both are OK.)''

2- ''× × × When hearing that the child had been found, she burst into tears.''

"To show that two things happen at the same time or that one thing happens immediately after the other, use on/upon doing sth (NOT when)"



I think there is no difference between the two sentences.

Last edited by Ahmed.A.A

Hi, Ahmed A.A,

@Ahmed.A.A posted:

Hi, Ahmed_btm said:

1-''On / When seeing the snake, I felt frightened. (This is a unique action, so both are OK.)''

2- ''× × × When hearing that the child had been found, she burst into tears.''

"To show that two things happen at the same time or that one thing happens immediately after the other, use on/upon doing sth (NOT when)"



I think there is no difference between the two sentences.

When I gave my answer to 1, I took 'when' to mean 'at the moment/time of seeing'. However, after reading the note on 'Longman Dictionary of Common Errors', I had to stick to it. In brief, 'when + v.ing' can work if there is a habitual or a repeated action or if it is followed by a progressive tense with the same subject in both the dependent and independent clauses and it can also be used when giving instructions. (When seeing a dog, run as fast as you can.)

Last edited by ahmed_btm

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