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I've watched 007 skyfall. Had one scene, that Agent was driving and 007 sat beside her. She drove very fast and then car side mirror was removed because crashed with something beside the road.

after that 007 said:

"You weren't using it?"

instantly (after mirror was removed about 1 sec - 3 sec)

Can you explain to me why he use this tense for this situation and do you have any alternative sentences for this situation?

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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, kiamlaluno, tchrist, Mitch, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Mar 26 '13 at 22:36

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I could understand this question on English Language Learners, but I don't see anything relevant to linguists, etymologists, and (serious) English language enthusiasts. Here it's just General Reference. – FumbleFingers Mar 26 '13 at 17:55
@FumbleFingers just curious - why close it instead of migrating? – xdumaine Mar 27 '13 at 17:01
@roviuser: Maybe the mods can "migrate" to ELL, but we ordinary ELU users have no such ability. The (trivial) answer had already been provided before I closevoted, and to be honest I don't see why anyone would have trouble understanding why 007 used a negated past progressive in this context. I've no idea whether OP's question mark accurately represents intonation (in which case he was surprised and seeking confirmation that she might have been using it, as opposed to stating the simple observation that she wasn't). Maybe ELL could have clarified why certain speakers might not understand – FumbleFingers Mar 27 '13 at 18:53

His meaning is, "you were not using the mirror before it was removed," with an implied "so it isn't a problem that it was removed."

He used the past tense to indicate the mirror was not in use prior to it being removed.

Similarly: "I let him borrow my bike because I wasn't using it." or "I turned off the lights because you weren't in the room."

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