1

Could you possibly help me on this question please?

"She ........in London for several years before she moved to New York."

  1. was living
  2. has lived
  3. had lived
  4. going to go

Well, I know the option 3 fits here more grammatically and emphasize "the timeline structure" more clearly..but in daily life can we use the option 1? If we can, does the meaning change totally?

And can we say "She lived in London for several years before she moved to New York"? I think and was taught because there is the word "before", we don't have to use past perfect at the beginning of a sentence in situations like this.

  • 1
    Lived works, was living has problems. – user6951 Nov 4 '14 at 20:59
  • Thanks for your help but can I ask what would it mean if we say "She was living in London for several years before she moved to New York." – Mrt Nov 4 '14 at 21:12
4

Context, context, context! Either 1 or 3 could be correct.

1 is employed in a context where your discourse concerns the time when she was living in London and mention her move to New York only to provide a 'timeframe' for her London residence; for instance:

She was living in London for several years before she moved to New York, and found British accents (once she was able to understand them) much more attractive than that of her native Minnesota.

3 is employed in a context where your discourse concerns the time when or after she moved to New York and wish to mention her prior residence in London as the source of some state which obtained at that later time; for instance:

She had lived in London for several years before she moved to New York, and found it difficult to understand even midwestern American accents when she returned.

  • Thank you StoneyB..so do you think this question with these options is not good one to ask on a test..I mean it is like a bit ambigious ( I dont know if itis right word for this situation) – Mrt Nov 4 '14 at 22:46
  • 3
    @Murat I think the question a bad one if only one answer is accepted: it penalizes a student who knows enough to English to recognize that 1 is acceptable. It would be a good question for a discussion: "Write a paragraph analyzing whether each answer is acceptable and why." – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 4 '14 at 22:51

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