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Well, the answer to the question I'm going to ask you might have seemed evident to me before but now after I've been thinking about it for some time I've got stuck. Here below ther're 4 sentences.

  1. A man shouldn't think about risk when a lady's asking for help.
  2. A man shouldn't be thinking about risk when a lady asks for help.
  3. A man shouldn't be thinking about risk when a lady's asking for help.
  4. A man shouldn't think about risk when a lady asks for help.

Here're my thoughts:

  1. A man shouldn't think about risk (ever, there's sort of regularity here, that's why I'm using a Simple Tense) when a lady's asking for help (to me the action of asking for help is more prolonged than the action of thinking, at the same time the action of asking for help is the one interrupted by the action of thinking; thus, I'm using a Progressive Tense here).

  2. A man shouldn't be thinking about risk (at some certain moment (a Progressive Tense) which is expressed by the 2nd action) when a lady asks for help (a regular action (a Simple Tense)).

  3. A man shouldn't be thinking about risk (is the action which is going together with the 2nd action) when a lady's asking for help (these 2 actions are kind of parallel, that's why I'm using a Progressive Tense in both cases.).

  4. Both actions are regular and are a kind of a rule, that's why I'm using a Simple Tense in both cases.

Would be grateful for your answers!

  • 2
    What is the question?! – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 30 '14 at 7:00
  • maybe OP is asking others opinion about OP's 4 points of thoughts? – Yohanes Khosiawan 许先汉 Apr 30 '14 at 7:04
  • Yep.. Which tenses would be more natural or just right? – user73643 Apr 30 '14 at 7:07
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My edit: Is he thinking of 'risk' or 'danger'? What is he risking?

A man shouldn't think about risk when a lady's asking for help.
A man shouldn't think about risking [his life (something)] when a lady's asking for help.

A man shouldn't be thinking about risk when a lady asks for help.
A man shouldn't be thinking about the risk when a lady asks for help.

A man shouldn't be thinking about risk when a lady's asking for help.
A man shouldn't be thinking about the risk when a lady's) asking for help.

A man shouldn't think about risk when a lady asks for help.
A man shouldn't think about the risk when a lady asks for help.

  • Well, yes. THE risk then. Like he shouldn't be thinking / think of whether to risk his life, for example, or not. – user73643 Apr 30 '14 at 6:36

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