English Grammar


Preterit question

"Kevin. Philip was thinking/thought (10) long and hard. He knew (11) that Kevin would never pay him the money." I would say "was thinking" but the correction imposes "thought". It's sure that preterit is needed but I do not agree with the correction. Could you please explain me what is the correct answer and why ?

3 comments

  • "Kevin. Philip was thinking/thought (10) long and hard. He knew (11) that Kevin would never pay him the money." I would say "was thinking" but the correction imposes "thought". It's sure that preterit is needed but I do not agree with the correction. Could you please explain me what is the correct answer and why ?
  • Thank you, Stephane, for giving a follow-up to my note. It is probably a question of shade of meaning in the intention of the reporter. Anyway the GymGlish version isn't ever wrong, as far as I have seen until now. But your version might possibly be correct too. Don't forget that you are checked by a robot. For a robot there are only two values of truth, right or wrong.
  • Your question is worth coming under scrutiny. I suppose, Stephane, that you would use the past continuous because the action is said lasting 'long and hard'. If the intention of the speaker was to insist on the duration of the thought, I wonder whether you wouldn't be right. (as in : While Philip was thinking long and hard, Kevin left the room.) ..../.... But if the thought comes up over the sequence of reported events, the simple past would probably be better. (For example, I'd say : As soon as he lended some quids to Kevin, Philip thought long and hard that he would never be paid back.) Am I right or wrong? Goodness knows!

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