Support materials for the Diary Entry “Speaking about the Past (5)”

Imposed model

Parameters DID (Ved) Was/were Ving Had DID (Ved)
Time of action


Did you play baseball in childhood?


Richard was sleeping with his mouth slightly open.


By the end of June all students had passed their exams.

Duration of action


She kissed me goodbye and disappeared.


Richard was sleeping with his mouth slightly open.



Interruption (Action completeness) 

Subject of…

When I came, she was talking on the phone. 

Object of (no end)

Children were making some noise and at some point it made me angry.

Background action

Object of (end)

She had run for an hour when she finally reached the foot of the mountain.

Relation to other actions

One after another

When she came, he made coffee. (first she came, then he made coffee)

Parallel processes

While she was coming back home from work, he was making coffee. 

Before past

When she came he had made coffee. (first he made coffee, then she came)


# Alexander Sokol 2011-12-03 20:45
Renata, I find a few things problematic:
- relation to other actions: I don't think that values 'one after the other' and 'parallel' actually distinguish DID and WAS DOING. Both forms can be used when we speak about simultaneous actions, cf:
He came when I left.
Another difficulty is distinguishing between 'one after the other' and 'before past' - what are the criteria?
- I am not sure I understand the values of parameter 'interruption' - can you elaborate pls?
- duration can be very difficult to define, cf:
They'd lived in Latvia for quite a few years when we met - why 'no' duration?
We spent lots of time together in college - why no duration?
# Irina Buchinska 2011-12-11 19:23
Renata, you have made a draft model, fine. Now try to reflect on the model itself.
- what's the difference between - pre-past and before past?
- don't you mean the same by duration, process and an incomplete action?
- don't you have too many different 'terms' under the parameter interruption: completeness, object, subject, background action; end/no end?

What about 'a check list' for a model? :)
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