I am concerned about the sequence of two works. Can I use present continuous tense (am looking for) like this?

  • 1
    What is the concern? The meaning is rather odd (why does meeting me make you want to see a doctor?) but there's no special grammar here.
    – James K
    Commented Oct 15, 2022 at 4:29
  • In an exam there was a question like "Choose the correct sentence", and 4 options were given there. This sentence is one of them. They marked this sentence as a wrong one. But I don’t find it grammatically wrong! Commented Oct 15, 2022 at 5:20
  • "I had looked for a good doctor before I met you" was their answer. Commented Oct 15, 2022 at 5:24
  • 1
    It is not grammatically wrong, but it could be contextually wrong. Can you provide the question, and maybe the other answers?
    – Joachim
    Commented Oct 15, 2022 at 7:23
  • 2
    I would say "I was looking for a good doctor until I met you." Commented Oct 15, 2022 at 12:22

1 Answer 1


This is an unidiomatic sentence. It's not clear what the speaker is trying to say. But there is no actual grammar error.

If you change the context, you might be able to make a slightly more reasonable sentence.

I'm looking for a pen before phoning the bank.

Now here I understand that the speaker wants a pen because she thinks that when she phones the bank, she might have to take notes. So "right now" she is looking for a pen.

That's acceptable. You could also use "before I phone the bank" (the simple present in the subordinate clause means "non-past", and in context refers to a future time)

Your sentence has the same structure, but the meaning is so odd. I understand why someone might want a pen when they phone their bank. I don't get why someone wants a doctor when they meet.

Looking at your comment, this is a common mistake that test writers make. The assumption is that the word "before" requires the use of the past perfect. That is not true. You can use "before" with present, past and past perfect. You can use past perfect without the word "before."

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