I've just seen your message, it had been a while since you sent it.

I wrote this sentence but I'm not sure if it is grammatically correct, because I started with present perfect then used past perfect.

I received a message month ago, and I'm trying to answer it now.

Is my sentence acceptable or there is a better way?

  • 1
    Can you tell us why you think the sentence is wrong? (The word while is spelled incorrectly, but I don't think that is what you mean here.) Aug 21, 2016 at 22:51
  • Grammar is the correct spelling. Please tell us why do you think the grammar is wrong. If you haven't looked at them yet, please visit our help center pages. They explain how to write a question that we can answer. Aug 21, 2016 at 23:02
  • I wrote this sentence and not sure if the grammer is correct, because i started with present perfect then used past perfect
    – safi
    Aug 21, 2016 at 23:07
  • Please edit your question to include that information, and tell us what research you did. Why do you think the perfect is necessary here? (Use the edit link under your question.) Aug 21, 2016 at 23:14
  • 2
    It's neither "right" nor "wrong," but you don't need to use the past perfect at all. A native speaker would probably write: I just saw your message, it's been been a while since you sent it. Some wouldn't even use the present perfect: I just saw your message, you sent it a while ago. Aug 22, 2016 at 0:35

1 Answer 1


When giving us context, you mention that the message was received a month ago. That's good. Include such temporal information in the sentence you're trying to construct, and allow those time phrases to guide your choice of tense. Do not rely only upon the tense to convey the temporal information.

I have just now seen your message, which you sent a month ago.

The phrase a month ago establishes a discrete point-in-time in the past. Thus, a simple past is suitable.

Just now means very recently, a few moments ago. You're referring to a very recent event that colors your present circumstances. Thus, the present-perfect is suitable.

Let's imagine that you are a procrastinator.

Last week I saw the message which you had sent three weeks earlier. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to reply.

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