What's new

While I was going to help him, I got impatient ...

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
2,449
Reaction score
38
Dear native English speakers,
(a) While I was trying to help him with his math, I got impatient because he didn't pay attention to me.
(b) While I was going to help him with his math, I got impatient because he didn't pay attention to me.

(a) is from the textbook we use.
How about (b)? Would it be used, too? Would it have a similar meaning to (a)?

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin
 

OoTmaster

先輩
Joined
Oct 23, 2012
Messages
738
Reaction score
119
Going to can either be future tense or past future tense. In the future tense it doesn't make sense because if you are going to help him you haven't yet therefore it would be odd for you to be impatient for him not listening as you haven't given the assistance yet. Unless the "didn't pay attention to me" is referencing a different activity in which he did not pay attention to you. "While I was going to help him with his math, I got impatient because he didn't pay attention to me when I was trying to set up a time with him. I have now asked my friend to help him instead." Something like this. The action of helping with math is still an event yet to pass in this case. In past future tense it would make it sound as if you changed your mind and the window of time for helping with math has happened already. "While I was going to help him with his math, I got impatient because he didn't pay attention to me. Now that the test is today I wonder how he will do."

I think the sentence by itself as it is currently is unclear in meaning. While (a) is clear that the action took place in the past.
 

hirashin

Sempai
Donor
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
2,449
Reaction score
38
Thanks for the help, OoTmaster.
 
Top