The sentence 我吃饭的时候看了一本书。 apparently has two verbs (吃 and 看), but I can’t see how the two actions are correlated. Could anyone explain that?
I'm not sure if you are familiar with 的时候 but this translates approximately to 'while'.
So the sentence reads:
While I was eating I read a book.
You can see the English use "I" twice, so it may make more sense to you if you read it like this:
A verb works with an object. In this sentence, the first verb 吃 (have or eat) works with 饭 (meal), and the second, 看 (read) works with 书 (book), and "...的时候..." (while) links two phrases together.
“我吃饭的时候” has an adverbial clause (I'm not sure if you can understand that). When 我吃的的时候，我看了一本书.
I read a book while having dinner.
You can see 吃 as an adverbial clause of time.
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Can't type in Chinese so I'll use pinyin.
Literally, it goes:
wo3 chi1 fan4 ("I eat/ am eating/ ate/ was eating etc.),
de5 shi2 hou5 (POS "time"),
kan4 le5 yi1 ben3 shu1 ("saw/ had seen/ read/ had read one book").
Therefore, it roughly translates to "At the time when I was eating, I read a book."