Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Past Perfect

  1. #1
    enthink is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    83
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Past Perfect

    Now it's 11 pm and you had been watching TV from 8 pm to 10 pm.


    Two questions:

    1) Is that grammatically (technically) correct?

    2) Is that natural?


    (I believe the past progressive tense would be more natural but am not so sure about question 1.)

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,743
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Past Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    Now it's 11 pm and you had been watching TV from 8 pm to 10 pm.


    Two questions:

    1) Is that grammatically (technically) correct?

    2) Is that natural?


    (I believe the past progressive tense would be more natural but am not so sure about question 1.)

    Thanks!
    'No' to both questions.
    The index time is 'now'. There's no reason to use the past perfect, since you're not referring to more than one period of time in the past.

    Now it's 11 pm and you were watching TV from 8 pm to 10 pm.
    This is grammatical. You might use it in this context: "It's 11pm; you were watching TV from 8 'til 10, and you haven't even looked at your homework yet!"

    If 'you' are still watching TV, you use the present perfect:
    It's 11 pm and you have been watching TV since 8 pm.

    (You could probably squeeze a grammatically correct meaning from your sentence if you added more context that required the past perfect.)

  3. #3
    enthink is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    83
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Past Perfect

    Thanks!

    What would be the answers to those questions if I changed the sentence as follows:

    It was 11 pm and you had been watching TV from 8 pm to 10 pm.


    Also, I was taught that till is not used if it is connected with from (the correct construct is from-to). Is that an Australian deviation from the rule?

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,743
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Past Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    Thanks!

    What would be the answers to those questions if I changed the sentence as follows:

    It was 11 pm and you had been watching TV from 8 pm to 10 pm.
    Yes, that's how to use the past perfect.

    Also, I was taught that till is not used if it is connected with from (the correct construct is from-to). Is that an Australian deviation from the rule?
    I haven't heard of that rule. You can certainly say "from 8 until ['til] 10" in AusE.
    R.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Past simple, past continuous and past perfect
    By fuadha in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 18-Aug-2009, 12:17
  2. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 21-Nov-2007, 04:15
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Sep-2007, 20:23
  4. past perfect,past tense or present perfect?
    By njanja in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 13-Apr-2007, 12:13
  5. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Apr-2006, 17:18

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •