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Which sentence is correct and why?

Beckham hasn't had an injury in 3 years btw, but we all appreciate the fact you consider he was either playing in another dimension or dead after he left Milan

or

Beckham hasn't had an injury in 3 years btw, but we all appreciate the fact you consider he had been either playing in another dimension or dead after he left Milan

  • That's what I first felt about it, that both are correct and basically interchangeable taking into account what I wanted to communicate. The difference being that simple past differs from past perfect continuous in, interestingly enough, continuity.I really needed to be reassured about it, I really appreciate your reply, Mike :) – Everton Q Jan 21 '16 at 19:07
  • Related question, How do the tenses and aspects in English correspond temporally to one another?. If you use the search, you will find more related questions. – user24743 Jan 22 '16 at 2:48
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Both are grammatically correct and both express the same information, but there are subtle nuances between them.

The first one, using was... playing, is in the simple past tense; the second one, using had been... playing, is in the past perfect progressive tense. The second one expresses the sentiment that Beckham was "playing in another dimension, but then he stopped." The first is a little more indistinct: "he was playing in another dimension, and maybe he still is."

Bottom line: either one is acceptable.

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