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Question Sentences with the past progressive tense

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
would you check my sentences? Do they sound natural?

1) When you called me, I was watching TV.
2) It was raining when I went out.
3) I was eating lunch with Kate at that time.
4) I was driving when Tom called me.
5) When the earthquake happened, we were having lunch.
6) Kate and I were walking in the park at that time.
7) When you called me, I was going out.
8) It was raining when I arrived at [/got to] Ashiyagawa Station.
9) I was studying English when Mike visited me.
10) When the earthquake happened, we were sleeping.
11) When my uncle visited me, I was watching TV.
12) It was snowing when we arrived at the bridge.
 

hirashin

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Thanks, Michael2.
An American person said this in another site. What do you think?
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No. 11 sounds a bit strange.
You need to say something like:
- When my uncle arrived, I was watching TV.
- When my uncle came to visit me, I was watching TV.

In other words, at the moment when my uncle arrived at my door to visit me, I was watching TV.

If you say "When my uncle visited me, I was watching TV", it means or implies something like -- my uncle visited me for three days, and for the entire three days I was watching TV.
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Michael2

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Ah yes, interesting point. It depends if you interpret visit to mean "go/arrive" or "spend some time". I think if you look in a dictionary it does include the meaning of "going" and "coming" so I think your sentence would be accurate but I can see where he is coming from.
 

mdchachi

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If you say "When my uncle visited me, I was watching TV", it means or implies something like -- my uncle visited me for three days, and for the entire three days I was watching TV.
His general point is correct however I think most readers will understand that the writer most likely means when the uncle arrived. Or, at least, it doesn't necessarily imply that he was watching TV the entire time. Or maybe the visit was brief so the TV was on the entire time. Who knows. Who cares.
Your original version is fine for your purpose. If you were writing a novel and you cared about the exact nuance you are trying to convey then it might matter.
 
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