What are the differences between these four sentences:
(1) Things have been pretty smooth until yesterday
(2) Things had been pretty smooth until yesterday
(3) Things were pretty smooth until yesterday
(4) Things are pretty smooth until yesterday (it is Wrong)

I am sorry. I was writing (1) but then I noticed "yesterday" in the sentence,
and it made me confused. I am not sure whether (1) or (2) or (3) is correct

  • 2
    Kitty, you know the rules: What are your thoughts, what do you think is correct... meta.ell.stackexchange.com/questions/439/…
    – Stephie
    Jan 15, 2015 at 17:54
  • @Stephie is right. Plus, you can easily do a search for the differences between those tenses. I think you mean something else by your Q, so please provide more info.
    – M.A.R.
    Jan 15, 2015 at 17:56
  • 1
    Kitty, can you name the tense used in each of the four sentences? Like, Present Perfect, Past Perfect? Try doing that, that will help you to pick your options better. Then, if you're wrong, you will get corrected by some ELL-ian. Jan 15, 2015 at 18:11
  • Thanks CopperKettle for trying to help me. (1) looks like Present Perfect but the adverb of time "yesterday" appears in the sentence, and (2) is Past Perfect. Ah...is it (2)? the correct sentence.
    – kitty
    Jan 15, 2015 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


I think the sentence #1 and 4 are grammatically wrong as "until yesterday"doesn't fit in the present perfect or in the present simple.

As for the sentences "2 and 3, they are grammatically correct as they refer to things that happened in the past, for which we can use "until yesterday".

  • 1 is wrong because you can't use "until" with present perfect, not because of "yesterday" "I have waited since yesterday" is grammatical.
    – eques
    Jan 15, 2015 at 21:00
  • @eques, it's never been a problem until now, they have had very little money until now (The Free Dictionary), I have always lived here until now (Oxoford Learners).
    – Khan
    Jan 16, 2015 at 2:52
  • to be more precise. Until can be used with times related to the present now, today, this morning, etc, more commonly in the negative. You can say "since yesterday", but not "until yesterday". The key is that present perfect must always include the present, so if you can't use that time with the simple present, it won't work with the present perfect.
    – eques
    Jan 16, 2015 at 14:57

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