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Learning languages TAC 2015

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Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4587 days ago

267 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 33 of 91
11 January 2013 at 12:53am | IP Logged 
I did some grammar repetition today.
The topic was past progressive.

Most of the excercies I did correctly.

But with one I had some difficulties.
"I ... (meet) Tom and Jane at the airport a few weeks ago. They ... (go) to Paris and I ... (go) to Rome. We ... (have) a chat while we ... (wait) for our flights."

My solution was: I met Tom and Jane at the airport a few weeks ago. They went to Paris and I went to Rome. We had a chat while we were waiting for our flights.

But the key says: I met Tom and Jane at the airport a few weeks ago. They were going to Paris and I was going to Rome. We had a chat while we were waiting for our flights.

Can I use "went" as well?

I know there isn't always one correct answer. Especially in workbooks without a context.


Corrections are always welcome.

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jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5272 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
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 Message 34 of 91
11 January 2013 at 9:44am | IP Logged 
My intuition says that the people didn't go to Paris/Rome at the very moment, that's why we use "was/were going" (as in "they were on their way to...." "in the process of going to..." "were about to go to..."). Not that you can trust your native language all times, but which German tense would you use? How would you say the sentences in German?
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iguanamon
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3625 days ago

2224 posts - 6708 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Creole (French)

 
 Message 35 of 91
11 January 2013 at 12:16pm | IP Logged 
Jeff is right. The name of the exercise provides you with the reason why the answer you provided is "wrong" grammatically- "The topic was past progressive."

You are telling a story, describing an action that was taking place at a point in the past. Using the past progressive tense is clearer than saying "They went to Paris and I went to Rome". When you use the past tense "went" it leaves me wondering, when did they go to Paris? Were you talking to them in the airport and they told you that they just returned from there? Did you just return from Rome? Were you talking about Paris and they happened to mention that they had been there once? This tense leaves the situation somewhat ambiguous. I can guess that you meant that they were going to Paris and you were going to Rome at the time, but I don't know for sure. I'd have to ask for clarification to be certain.

Using the past tense instead of the progressive past tense in this case leaves it unclear. The past progressive leaves no doubt what was occurring at the time you met Tom and Jane at the airport. Hope this helps.


Edited by iguanamon on 11 January 2013 at 1:53pm

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Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4587 days ago

267 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 36 of 91
15 January 2013 at 1:08am | IP Logged 
Thanks for the supplementary explanations.

@jeff: German doesn't have the continous like English. More precisely, we German has the Partizip, but it doesn't use like the English continous.
I use words like gerade, im Moment, if I want to make sure that something happened at the moment.
In this case I would say: Ich war auf dem Weg nach Rom. oder Ich bin nach Rom geflogen.
Geflogen is Partizip Perfect, but it's not necessary.

While I was reading a book the telephone rang
Ich las ein Buch als das Telefon klingelte.
Ich habe ein Buch gelesen als das Telefon klingelte.

So you can avoid the "Particip" in German. You can't do it in English, do you?

In Swedish it is talande, tänkande, boende ...
I don't know much about Swedish, but do you use it?
Is there a Swedish tense who similar to the English continous?



During the weekend I've got infected by italki. At the moment I use mostly the chat. I'm a little bit afraid of speaking.
In school, I always got told I have a strong German accent and I'm hard to understand.
Otherwise I think after years of study there couldn't happen anything.

I've started to read "The pleasure of Men" and "The Hobbit" is waiting.
From time to time I do some grammar repetitions.


Edited by Mareike on 15 January 2013 at 1:10am

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jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5272 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 37 of 91
15 January 2013 at 4:48pm | IP Logged 
So even if German doesn't have the continious tense, you express it in other ways. And, since you got "while we were waiting" right, you must have some idea of how it works. Grammar exercises like this are typical. When you know the "fomula", it's more or less fill-in-the-blanks. (Anyone who has studied French or Spanish must have done lot of this.)

While Swedish has pure particip forms (-ande, -ende), we don't use it as a continous tense. Normally, we use present tense, and the context will give you a hint if it's happening "right now" or "regularly".
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Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4587 days ago

267 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 38 of 91
02 February 2013 at 10:22pm | IP Logged 
At first, Jeff, thanks a lot for your help again.

I still working on my languages.
I decided to participate the 6 weeks challenge in february.
My target language is Swedish. I also track English, but only to get an overview.

I've had some skype sessions in January and after my first nervoursness was gone I was able to hold a conversation for 1 or 2 hours. In English, of course, my Swedish is far away to hold a conversation.

In Swedish, I continue with assimil and attend a class.
One think I learned from the last assimil lesson:
Place your tent in an area where a lot of ants, because they know where the good places are. They have a home field advantage.
Just assimil.
It also seems to be the women who wear the pants in that course.


Corrections are welcome.
.


Edited by Mareike on 03 February 2013 at 12:57am

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Mareike
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4587 days ago

267 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: German*
Studies: English, Swedish

 
 Message 39 of 91
11 February 2013 at 12:54am | IP Logged 
My university exams come closer, therefore I struggle to find time for studying languages.
I've watched a lot of dvds in English the last week.
This was perfect to relax in the evening.

I continue the skype language exchange.
It's surprised me how well it works.

Beside my Swedish, there will be another summer project this year Java.

I finished all programming courses at university I can do.
The result is I can read a Java code, but I can't write one.
It's a lack of practice. So I decided to create a little programm over the summer.
I'm still looking for some ideas.

På svenska:
Jag gå på kurs och fortsättar med assimil.
Jag hittar inte så mycket, på grund av tenta.
Men jag försökar att läsa halvtimme varje dag.

Corrections are welcome.
1 person has voted this message useful





jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5272 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 40 of 91
11 February 2013 at 11:42am | IP Logged 
Jag gå på kurs och fortsättar med assimil - Jag går en kurs/läser en kurs och fortsätter med Assimil. (rephrasing;conjugation)

Jag hittar inte så mycket, på grund av tenta. (Unclear meaning - you don't find that much... of what? 'tenta' is indefinite, I'd say either 'tentan' (referring to a certain exam) or 'tentor' - exams in general)
Men jag försöker att läsa halvtimme varje dag. (conjugation)


Edited by jeff_lindqvist on 11 February 2013 at 7:09pm



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