Which sentence among the following the correct:

There was always a guard at the door. It had been that way ever since the labratory was established.

My issue with this sentence is that a guard can't possibly have been posted at the door of the labratory prior to its establishment. The labratory was established first; then the guard was posted. Therefore, is it wrong to say it 'had been that way'?

Which is why my second suggestion is:

There was always a guard at the door. It was that way ever since the labratory had been established.

1 Answer 1


The first sentence is fine and is better than the second sentence. "Had been" just means that something happened continuously in the past for a definite duration of time. In the first sentence, a guard was posted when the library was established (a discreet event that was completed in the past, before the story takes place), and the posting of guards continued until the time in the story that we are talking about. So it is correct to say that guards had been posted at the laboratory ever since the laboratory was established.

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