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    #1

    has(had) been covered

    Dear teacher,
    please correct my sentenese below:

    We tried to see a picture on the wall but could not see it. A picture, even if it was (had been?) there, has(had) been covered with a thick layer of paint.

    Thank you

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: has(had) been covered

    Quote Originally Posted by sbrodsky View Post
    Dear teacher,
    please correct my sentenese below:

    We tried to see the a picture on the wall but could not see it. The A picture, even if it was even (had been?) there, has(had) been covered with a thick layer of paint.

    Thank you
    It reads as though you expected to see a specific picture, so I have suggested "the" instead of "a."

    If it had even been there - you are not sure that a picture was ever on the wall.
    If it had EVER been there would be a bit more natural to my ear.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  2. euncu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: has(had) been covered

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    It reads as though you expected to see a specific picture, so I have suggested "the" instead of "a."
    But, as far as I'm concerned, replacing "it" with "one" may fix the problem,

    We tried to see a picture on the wall but could not see it one.

    and also;

    We tried to see a some pictures on the wall but could not see it any.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: has(had) been covered

    I totally agree that your changes are quite natural sounding!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

    • Member Info
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    #5

    Re: has(had) been covered

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    It reads as though you expected to see a specific picture, so I have suggested "the" instead of "a."

    If it had even been there - you are not sure that a picture was ever on the wall.
    If it had EVER been there would be a bit more natural to my ear.
    Thank you, Barb_D!

    Does it change anything (I mean "had been covered") if I add "long time ago" to the sentence?

    The picture, if it was even there, had been covered with a thick layer of paint long time ago.

    Thank you again

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: has(had) been covered

    Quote Originally Posted by sbrodsky View Post

    The picture, if it was even there, had been covered with a thick layer of paint long time ago.
    Sounds just fine to me!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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