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  1. #1
    kimoanton is offline Newbie
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    Default past perfect vs past perfect continuous

    Hi,

    I was wondering if someone could explain to me if this is wrong and why:

    When Judy got home, her hair was still wet because she had swum.

    Would it be OK if I added "recently" to the end?

    When Judy got home, her hair was still wet because she had swum recently.

    Does it have to do with that "still" in there?

    It sounds strange to me, and I know I should say:

    When Judy got home, her hair was still wet because she had been swimming.

    ...but I can't figure out why or if it's "technically" wrong at all.

    Thanks in advance,
    Jim

  2. #2
    Bamako2 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: past perfect vs past perfect continuous

    When Judy got home, her hair was still wet because she had swum.

  3. #3
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: past perfect vs past perfect continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by kimoanton View Post
    When Judy got home, her hair was still wet because she had swum been swimming.

    '... because she had swum' has a 'completed' idea that does not really go with the fact that her hair was still wet.

    Would it be OK if I added "recently" to the end? No.

    Does it have to do with that "still" in there? No
    . in fact 'still' sounds slightly odd - almost as though we expected it to be wet. It would sound more natural if we changed it to:

    Judy had been swimming, and her hair was still wet when she got home
    It's not really a matter of being 'technically' right or wrong; sometimes it's just a matter of feeling. I know that's not very helpful, but that's the way it is.

    The shorter the action, the more likely it is that the non-progressive form will sound natural:

    Her hair was wet because she had been washing her hair.
    Her hair was wet because she had washed her hair.
    Her hair was wet because she had been falling in the river.
    Her hair was wet because she had fallen in the river.

  4. #4
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    Khosro is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: past perfect vs past perfect continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Her hair was wet because she had been washing her hair.
    Her hair was wet because she had washed her hair.
    Her hair was wet because she had been falling in the river.
    Her hair was wet because she had fallen in the river.
    What about "Her hair was wet because she had fallen in the river recently"?

    I don't persist on "recently" but want to know what could be a time adverb for this sentence.

  5. #5
    kimoanton is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: past perfect vs past perfect continuous

    Thank you for your replies. I should have mentioned earlier that this was a question posed to me by one of my students after seeing the above example in our text book, Understanding and Using English Grammar by Betty Azar.

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: past perfect vs past perfect continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by Khosro View Post
    What about "Her hair was wet because she had fallen in the river recently"?
    'Recently' doesn't sound very natural. How about 'just' before 'fallen'?

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: past perfect vs past perfect continuous

    Quote Originally Posted by kimoanton View Post
    Thank you for your replies. I should have mentioned earlier that this was a question posed to me by one of my students after seeing the above example in our text book, Understanding and Using English Grammar by Betty Azar.
    Azar writes of this example, "The past perfect progressive emphasizes the duration of an activity that was in progress before another activity or time in the past".

    I suggested (not explicitly) a similar idea in post #3.

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