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A woman is speaking to a girl whose life as she knew it ended a month ago speaking about two things a girl was used to during her previous life happening at the same time, not one after the other. Which one, if any, of these sentences is correct?

A girl whose every need was always fulfilled and who had all the time and luxury to be just thinking about things!

A girl whose every need was always being fulfilled and who was having all the time and luxury to be just thinking about things!

A girl whose every need has always been fulfilled and who’d had all the time and luxury to be just thinking about things!

A girl whose every need has always been fulfilled and who’s had all the time and luxury to be just thinking about things!

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This is not a question primarily about grammar but rather about style.

All four examples are sentence fragments rather than complete sentences, but it does not appear the person asking cares about that.

The first one seems most idiomatic to my American ear.

Because the continuous is frequently used to indicate concurrency with an isolated event,, the second sounds very strange to me. That is

She was watching television when the house caught on fire

indicates that she was watching television, a continuing activity, during the period when the fire started, a non-continuous event.

So, in terms of the second example, it strikes me as improbable that her need was always filled simultaneously with the need arising, and I do not understand what event or activity is supposed to be concurrent with her thinking.

The third and fourth do not seem to mean what is intended. The present perfect can be used to indicate the recent past or to indicate continued present relevance, but that does not seem to be the intended meaning.

What would be acceptable (but not necessary) would be to use the past perfect rather than the simple past. I doubt any fundamental difference in meaning results from using the past perfect in this case, but the past perfect does emphasize that the condition described preceded some past event.

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  • It truly might seem as a fragment of a sentence - that is because it’s a part of a dialogue inside a script written in a dramatic way where the meaning is given by the context of it and I couldn’t.. or wouldn’t copy it as a whole since it would give away some ideas. The meaning of it is that a girl was taken by an enemy organisation where an employee, a mature woman, is giving her a speech in which during the confrontation she’s pointing out that life of the girl was much easier than a life of the woman who didn’t have the same opportunities Jan 15, 2021 at 21:48
  • I understand that sentence fragments are common in speech, and so in dialogue. It is hard to know exactly what someone is asking about. Here I wanted to distinguish between the grammatical and the non-grammatical. I spent the huge bulk of my words on the differences in the tenses. Jan 15, 2021 at 23:55

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