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The answer versus the explanation

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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The answer versus the explanation

Postby keleigh » Sat Oct 09, 2004 2:13 am

On an application I recently completed, it asked you to identify the mistake in the following question by underling it, re-writing the question and explaining your answer. It's been a week since I applied and I'm still loosing sleep over one of the questions, if anyone can help me I would be beyond grateful!!!

1. "Why didn't you answer the telephone?"
"Because I had a bath."

2. "Because I was in the bath."

3. This is where I get lost, I'm almost certain that the change I made was correct, the problem is I have no idea why...

Thanks for any help you might be able to offer, and/or advise on where I might be able to find help. :mrgreen:

- Keleigh- :mrgreen: :oops:
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Postby Alan » Sun Oct 10, 2004 4:10 am

If #2 was your amended version, it was certainly correct.
'Because I had a bath' is grammatically sound, but does not constitute a reasonable response to the original question, since, being couched in the past simple tense of an action verb, it fails to indicate the temporal overlap between the two events (the phone ringing and being in the bath). 'I was...', on the other hand, being the past tense of a stative verb, is able naturally to indicate that connection, and therefore does constitute a reasonable response. (I hope that's not too technical!)
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Postby keleigh » Sun Oct 10, 2004 1:20 pm

Thank you SO much, I can't begin to tell you how many hours I spent studying the various sections of my old S.A.T prep books, trying to understand the reason for an answer I just knew... Thank-you,thank-you,thank-you!!!
-Keleigh- :lol:
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Postby Alan » Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:07 am

You're welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome!

:D
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