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I have the text which have the "run to" construction:

I held my breath as the woman ran to the house.

For me the text in up means: "I watched the woman and held my breath in the moment she began to run to the house."

But if I want to express that I was watching woman and held my breath only in the moment she neared the house can I say: "I held my breath as the woman had run to the house". Can you correct me.

  • I don't think so, past perfect has a time reference prior to the past simple. Are you forced to use the verb "run"? – Cardinal Apr 12 at 12:57
  • Yes, I'd like phrase constrution with word "run". – ZWA Apr 12 at 13:11
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I'd interpret the sentence as written to mean that you held your breath for the entire time that the woman was running to the house. "... as the woman ran ..." indicates the entire time she was running.

If I wanted to say that I held my breath just as she got close, I'd say, "The woman ran to the house. I held my breath as she got close." If you want to put it into a single sentence, you could say, "I held my breath as the woman got close to the house that she was running to", but that sentence seems awkward. Maybe, "As the woman ran to the house, I held my breath as she got close." But really, I think it's better as two sentences. It flows more naturally.

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There is the phrase "ran up to the house".

I held my breath as the woman ran up to the house.

It is slightly ambiguous (it could mean "ascended") but given the context I could understand this as meaning "ran the final part before reaching the house". We tend to use "up" to mean "approaching" and "down" to mean "departing".

With some more words you could have "ran up the road to the house" (or "up the drive", "up the steps" etc.) This gives different meanings by adding information on where the "last part" is.

The past perfect doesn't work at all. That would mean that the running had finished before you held your breath, and so "as" would mean "because".

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