Translation:A man having a deep voice spoke.
Is it just me, or is "A man having a deep voice spoke" just not good English? I'd say "A man with a deep voice spoke". The word "having" to me suggests a current experience, such as "a man having a crisis spoke" or "a man having a good time spoke". I am assuming that the man was not just having a deep voice phase at the time he was speaking.
This is coming from a native English speaker from England, so please let me know if you're from America or Australia and this sounds perfectly normal to you!
I used "talked" and was marked wrong as well.
I've been thinking about why and maybe, it is because the sentence doesn't mention anyone the man was talking to. The difference between "A man having a deep voice talked to my sister" and "A man having a deep voice spoke (at the conference)".
Just a thought. This one still has me slightly befuddled.
You are correct Ruggles. Speak tends to be used for one-sided communications (e.g. she spoke to her employees), whereas talk implies a conversation or discussion between two or more people (e.g. everyone was talking when he walked into the room). Speak is a little more formal than talk, and is often used in polite requests. It's peculiar, but I would never say talked here, as I also wouldn't say "having a deep voice!" In general, I don't imagine saying 'talked' in the simple past, but rather in a progressive form, such as "was talking."
On the contrary, the imperfect past has additional information that is lost when we use the simple past or past habitual (used to).
If we wanted to say the man got cut off at the same time as he was speaking we would say.
A man was speaking when I suddenly interrupted.
This is the past imperfect, to point out the information lost I'll say it in the past simple.
A man spoke when I suddenly interrupted.
This sentence says that the spoke after I interrupted or perhaps as soon as I did it suddenly. Please note this is the tense I struggled with most in French and this is only one way it adds mood and tense information.