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I am wondering what the difference is in meaning between sentences 1, 2, 3 is (just meaning, not grammar)

  1. She had always felt that she was missing out on a lot of fun because of her clumsiness on the dance floor. She had put off taking lessons.
  2. She had always felt that she was missing out on a lot of fun because of her clumsiness on the dance floor. She always kept put off taking lessons.
  3. She had always felt that she was missing out on a lot of fun because of her clumsiness on the dance floor. She had been putting off taking lessons.

Actually, the main source is number 3. I have my doubts if there is any difference in meaning between 2 and 3.

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    #2 needs to be "She would always keep putting off taking lessons" or "She always kept putting off taking lessons." As written, it's ungrammatical. – J.R. Mar 27 '14 at 19:18
  • @J.R - what about " kept put off" vs "kept putting off" ? She. Kept put off taking lessons – user5036 Mar 27 '14 at 19:35
  • No; "kept put off" would not be considered acceptable English. The tenses are mixed wrong. It's a confusing one, because of the way the phrasal verb "put off" conjugates. – J.R. Mar 27 '14 at 21:16
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Meaning-wise, this is how I read them:

1) At some point in the past, there was an occasion where she could have started taking lessons, but she put it off. (implications: there has probably been only one opportunity for lessons; that opportunity was probably a fairly long time ago.)

2) There had been, over the course of time, many occasions where she could have started taking lessons; but she put it off every time. [note: the given sentence is not grammatical as written]

3) Recently there had been occasions where she could have started taking lessons, but she put off all of them.

The primary difference between sentences two and three is that two implies a certain "habitualness" to the action: the putting-off was repeated on a consistent basis over a longer timespan. Three only implies at least a couple of occasions where lesson-taking was possible, and those occasions were all in the near past.

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