5 votes
Accepted

Difference between Past continuous and Past perfect continuous

I think the sentence is wrong, it should either be "they had been playing football since 10 o'clock, meaning they started at ten and continued until a later time, or "they were playing football at ten"...
  • 3,835
5 votes
Accepted

How does Past Perfect Progressive give an idea of time

It means the rain started at 9, and at 10, it was still raining. 10:00 last night is a moment in the past we are talking about. The past perfect means we're talking about time before that moment. ...
  • 4,620
4 votes
Accepted

Using Past-Perfect interchangeably with the Past Continuous

All of these are perfectly acceptable. The forms using "had been thinking" suggest a process of thought which extended over some time, but ended, either when the job was found, or before that. The for ...
  • 37.4k
4 votes

Using Past-Perfect interchangeably with the Past Continuous

All three of these sentences are grammatical as well. The past perfect tense is no better than the simple past tense in this situation; they're equally good. The word before tells you that the ...
  • 8,579
4 votes
Accepted

They had eaten. vs They had been eating

There's little to choose between OP's two alternatives, so in practice I think the KISS principle dominates (choose the simpler form had eaten, rather than continuous had been eating). But to the ...
3 votes
Accepted

present perfect vs present perfect continuous confusion

First of all, the example has some significant errors which should be corrected before we try to build on it. Ram read story books during his childhood. Ram preferred reading story books when he was ...
  • 37.4k
3 votes

Had done / had been doing

It depends largely on what you want to say,i.e. your intention. If you want to emphasize the action of eating as extending over a period of time in the past and having a specific outcome or relation ...
3 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between "has been" and "had been" here?

To me, the second sentence seems unnatural. The pluperfect ("had been") describes past actions occurring before other past actions. The sentence doesn't have another past action, so I don't see the ...
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2 votes
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Which is the correct phrase to be used here ? (since, from, was born, born)

Either #2 or #4 is correct. The verb "to be born" is a very odd verb in English because it exists only in the passive form. So some form of the verb "be" is required.
2 votes
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Past Perfect Continuous vs Past Continuous difference in meaning

I agree, the Past Continuous would make more sense in this case, e.g.: I was finishing some work in the garden when Sue arrived, so I didn't hear her come in. The Past Continuous is usually used ...
  • 6,406
2 votes
Accepted

Using the correct tense to establish a past context

It is often the case that the choice of whether to use a continuous form is a stylistic choice, depending on how the speaker (or writer) wishes to represent the temporal relationships involved. If ...
2 votes

Using the correct tense to establish a past context

This is an awkward question because it is framed in a certain context and, depending on the context, more than one answer is possible. Let's assume that Vivian is still having lessons but that at ...
  • 25.2k
2 votes
Accepted

Equality of continuous and perfect tenses (in a certain context)

In your first example you can only use the first sentence with the present perfect progressive verb form "has been raining" because you are speaking about something that began in the past, and has ...
  • 2,091
2 votes
Accepted

change of tenses, different focus?

You have the sentence start in the past simple, and then move into past perfect. This is a textbook example of the base time of the sentence being the past, and part of it referring to something ...
  • 22.4k
2 votes

Why Present Perfect or Present Perfect Continuous? Sentences are added

In (1) and (4), the person appears to have spent some time running or swimming. You would only use had run if a particular distance or purpose had been mentioned; She had run the last hundred metres. ...
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2 votes
Accepted

Is the tense correct in “I was talking about you for 2 years.”?

I can imagine a situation where the reporter could say: I was talking about you for 2 years, when you decided to show up again. Certainly, many would argue that the correct tense would be I had been ...
  • 8,758
2 votes

"I have been talking" vs "I was talking"

The speaker's meaning was that he has recently spent time asking his mother questions, maybe on more than one occasion. I've been talking to my friends about what we want to do when we leave school. (...
  • 36.7k
2 votes

"I have been talking" vs "I was talking"

I have been talking - the present perfect continuous tense We use the present perfect continuous tense for an action over a period of time up to now. (We can talk about repeated actions) I was talking ...
1 vote
Accepted

Is it possible to change the tense in this sentence?

They are very similar, but the different tenses have slightly different meanings. "That is where I had stashed the poisonous plants I had been collecting." ^ This indicates that the box is the ...
  • 2,215
1 vote

Using past perfect continuous in this situation

I think you may be having trouble with with past perfect continuous tense because you are thinking too logically about it, or want it to say too much. Your answer to "Which is the particular time in ...
  • 2,215
1 vote
Accepted

Use of Past Perfect for a state/action that isn't true anymore

You need to put a verb into the past perfect tense to indicate a contrast between the time of that verb and some other, later time, which you are referring to in the simple past tense. In your first ...
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1 vote

Can "already" be used with the past perfect progressive?

This sentence sounds perfectly fine to me. I wouldn't parse this as exactly a past perfect progressive form, though. Rather, I think it's similar to the past perfect form of the verb phrase "to go X-...
  • 1,262
1 vote

Is there a difference in meaning between "had looked at" and "had been looking at"?

This is a difference of past perfect simple and past perfect continuous tense. I can't find the pictures I had looked at earlier. The above sentence uses the past perfect simple tense. It means ...
  • 329
1 vote
Accepted

past perfect continuous and completion

The past perfect continuous (also called past perfect progressive) is used to show that an action started in the past and continued up to another point in the past. There is no implication that the ...
1 vote

change of tenses, different focus?

OP not only can change (Simple) Past Perfect had played football to (Continuous) Past Perfect had been playing football - it's actually more likely that's how a native speaker would phrase it. As ...
1 vote
Accepted

Past Perfect Continuous vs Past Continuous/Past Simple

I worked all day so I just stayed in and watched TV. I had worked all day so I just stayed in and watched TV. I had been working all day so I just stayed in and watched TV. All three sentences are ...
1 vote

How does Past Perfect Progressive give an idea of time

The past perfect progressive puts emphasis on the course or duration of an action taking place before a certain time in the past. In this case, the time in the past was 10:00 last night, and the ...
1 vote

Had done / had been doing

There are three possibilities here, with slight differences in meaning: 1) I ate before I visited you. - a statement of fact with no emphasis 2) I had eaten before I visited you. - so I wasn't ...

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