1

I want to explain about my duties in my previous job that I left 3 months ago. Which verb tense would be better to use? I should note that these duties were being done every day so I think past progressive tense should be fine.

Everyday once I was arriving I was opening the program and printing orders list.

Everyday once I was arriving I have been opening the program and printing orders list.

Everyday once I was arriving I had been opening the program and printing orders list.

  • Could you please add more detail to your question to explain why you find this confusing, and what research you have done? Otherwise we will have to close this as proofreading. – Andrew May 30 '19 at 5:31
  • Please note that I am looking for the best verb tense to answer questions about my previous job. I need to know how can I choose a verb tense for a continues work in the past that is more common in speaking. Thanks – Sarmen May 30 '19 at 6:08
  • Sarmen, why do you think you should use the continuous tense? In English, we use the simple present/past tense for routine actions. – Andrew May 30 '19 at 15:19
  • Thanks Andrew, I didn’t know this rule works for past tense too. – Sarmen May 30 '19 at 15:32
  • Samen could you please edit your question to add more detail? Explain why you think the continuous tense is correct here? I didn't say it's wrong, but I'm not sure what you are trying to say. Also are these printing orders, or did you print the orders? – Andrew May 30 '19 at 16:00
1

Your use of past progressive ("I was arriving") is unnecessarily complicated.

Also, changing tenses mid-sentence can lead to confusion and ambiguity.

Since you are talking about actions that happened in the past, it's best to use past tense in both cases.

Every day when I arrived, I opened the program and printing orders list.

| improve this answer | |
  • I've downvoted this for three reasons. First, you fail to address the various other errors in Sarmen's sample sentences. If you're going to help, help completely. Second, proofreading questions should be closed, not answered. It's better to ask for more detail to clarify what exactly is confusing, what research has been done, etc. Third, you fail to explain your answer, so it's difficult to apply this advice to anything but this specific case. In the future, please keep these in mind. – Andrew May 30 '19 at 5:27
  • 1
    @Andrew The question specifically asked "what verb tense do I use". I would like some help here, Can you help me completely by editing my answer to help show me what would be more acceptable? – user95841 May 30 '19 at 5:29
  • 1
    Well, you can explain why Sarmen should use the past tense here instead of either of the perfect tenses, and give some related examples. Also I would address the word choice in the sentence, for example the ambiguity of "printing orders list" -- did he open the printing orders list or did he print the order lists? You can add suggestions how a native speaker would likely express this series of actions. – Andrew May 30 '19 at 5:37
  • 1
    But as I said, I wouldn't answer the question at all, because as written he's asking us to proofread. We don't do that, as a rule. – Andrew May 30 '19 at 5:39
  • @nmath if I remove Every day from begging of the sentence it would not sound good – Sarmen May 30 '19 at 6:18
2

In English, we use the simple tense to talk about routine.

At my old job I made sales calls every day.

We use the continuous tense to talk about simultaneity -- things happening at the same time as other things.

One day at my old job I was making sales calls when I heard the building was on fire.

We use the perfect tense to relate one event to another event.

One day at my old job I had made several sales calls when I heard the building was on fire.

Past job responsibilities are routine actions, so it's better to use the past tense.

At my old job, every day, after I arrived ...

However "I was opening the program and printing orders list" does not make sense. I don't know if you were opening something called a "printing orders list" or you were printing an "orders list". Either way, use the past tense for the verb.

I opened the program and printed the orders list.

I opened the program and the printing orders list.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.