Can we correct this sentence?:
"When you were calling I had not had an internet connection".

I've decided that Past Perfect Tense in the second part of sentence is appropriate because an incident with a connection occurred before call starting and there was no internet connection during call. But i'm not sure.


  • Do you mean when instead of where? That an incident occurred earlier makes no difference, having an internet connection or not having one is something that lasts over a period of time. If you want to talk about the incident, you should mention the incident, not the result (no connection). Your title mentions past continuous, by the way. How is that relevant? You don't use any past continuous.
    – oerkelens
    Apr 2, 2015 at 15:09
  • 1
    I use "were calling", i.e. Past Continuous.
    – mma
    Apr 2, 2015 at 15:11
  • 1
    Ah, sorry, I overlooked that, because your question seemed to be about the second part of the sentence.
    – oerkelens
    Apr 2, 2015 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


If the internet was out during the call, past perfect is not correct, because the problem was ongoing - even if it started before. If the internet was restored before the call, but you were commenting on the outage that had just occurred before it "had not had" would be correct. However. . .

That sounds weird. "Had not had" is slightly awkward, you are using the same word in two different ways. To be specific enough for this case, but not awkward, I would say:

Before you were calling I did not have an internet connection.

This would be correct in the same situation that the past perfect was, but without using the word "had" twice.

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