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In this sentence "He continued watching until I had driven off in my car." drive off is obviously preceded to continue watching, why drive off is in past participle tense though?

  • As opposed to what? He had continued to watch would also be fine. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jul 4 '19 at 17:37
  • He had continued watching until I had driven off in my car. it looks a bit freaky – momsta Jul 4 '19 at 17:43
  • To keep the parallelism, a better sounding version would be he had continued watching while I was driving off in my car. But none of these versions are wrong; it's just that some might sound more natural than others. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jul 4 '19 at 17:53
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He continued watching until I had driven off in my car.

This is correct.

why drive off is in past participle tense?

The past perfect denotes an action completed prior to some past point of time. That's quite appropriate for this case. It says "He continued watching until I had completed the action of driving away in my car." "He continued watching, until I was gone." Very descriptive.

"He continued watching until I drove off in my car."

Similar, but it doesn't include the aspect of "completion" - that you had finished departing - that you were out of sight.

  • i think "he continued watching" is the referent past point of time for the past perfect "I had completed". So "I had completed" completed prior to "he continued watching" , generally, i would think "he continued watching" completed fist, and then, "I completed the action of driving away in my car" though. – momsta Jul 6 '19 at 20:11
  • May be "he continued watching" completed after "I completed the action of driving away in my car". – momsta Jul 6 '19 at 20:14
  • @momsta , the key is "until". X happened until Y. That means Y happened first, and then it triggers X to stop. – Sam Jul 6 '19 at 20:22
  • yes, that is the crux. @Sam – momsta Jul 7 '19 at 3:51

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