Tara was going to Ceylan when it changed its name to Sri Lanka.
Sometimes, Narrative Tense uses a mixture of tenses. For example, when talking about two events that began and ended in the past, you may have to use both Simple Past and Continuous (Progressive) tense. Especially if you were interrupted while doing something.
As you may recall, Simple Past Tense used the Infinitive Verb + ed. For instance, you may hear a Native English speaker say:
“Yesterday, I walked to work.”
This is a Simple Past Tense. The speaker began and ended their walk yesterday.
Narrative Tense may use this in conjunction with the Past Continuous Tense. A tense that is made by using the past tense form of “be” and a Verb + ing. For instance, you may hear someone say:
“I was walking.”
By saying this, the speaker is telling the listener that they had recently finished a walk. Past Continuous is often used when the speaker was cut off in the middle of doing something. This brings us to today’s sentence.
“Tara was goinga to Ceylan when it changedb its name to Sri Lanka.”
Notice superscript a and b. They are used to denote two tenses. In regards to tense, the sentence can be cut like this:
“Tara was goinga to Cylan | when it changedb its name to Sri Lanka.”
The vertical bar shows where the tense changes.
Looking at, Tara “was going” to Ceylan, but was stopped, that is why ing is used. This portion of the sentence is in Past Continuous Tense. What stopped Tara? “They changed their name.”
And now looking at b, they “changed their name,” is the second half of the sentence. It’s written in Simple Past Tense because the change of name interrupted Tara’s trip.
Example of the Narrative Tense
She was cooking dinner when her husband arrived.
She was exercising when, suddenly, the power went off.
I was reading a book when the accident happened.
Q1: Try making your own sentence.
Q2: Share an experience wherein someone interrupted you while watching TV.
Q3: Have you ever been interrupted before? What were you doing when it happened?
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