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Thread: Past Perfect

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    #1

    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!

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    #2

    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.)

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    #3

    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?

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    #4

    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.

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