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  1. #1
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    Default had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    1. The teacher __ already in the classroom before students came in.
    a) had been
    b) was

    Which one is correct (a) or (b)?
    If both are correct, what's the difference (in meaning etc.)?

    ===================

    2. I __ already very hardworking. Still my mark is a bit worse than the best 5th student.
    a) had been
    b) was

    Which one is correct (a) or (b)?
    If both are correct, what's the difference (in meaning etc.)?
    And what is meant by "the best 5th student" / "the best 5 students"?
    Is "the best 5 students" = "Top 5 students"?

  2. #2
    Sam-F Guest

    Default Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wai_Wai
    1. The teacher __ already in the classroom before students came in.
    a) had been
    b) was

    2. The teacher __ already very hardworking. Still my mark is a bit worse than the best 5th student.
    a) had been
    b) was
    Hi Wai Wai,


    1: In the first example, you would normally use the second, but it depends on the situation. If you mean that she came earlier, and was still in the classroom when they arrived, then use "The teacher was already..."

    You would use the second case normally if she HAD BEEN in the classroom, but was no longer there. This is because "had been" refers to something that used to be true, but no longer is.

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean in the second example, but if you mean that the teacher was working hard whent he students came in, then you could use either, but probably the second. This is for the exact same reason as last time:

    "The teacher was already working very hard when we came in" means that the teacher was working hard when you came in, and continued working.

    "The teacher had already been working hard when we came in" means that she had been working hard earlier, but stopped when you came in.


    In your final example "Still my mark is a bit worse than the best 5th student," I would start by changing "my mark IS a bit worse..." to "my mark WAS a bit worse...", because you usually refer to a mark being GIVEN to you (ie, in the past), rather than still having a mark.

    Next, "the best 5th student" sounds like the best student out of all the fifth students. It doesn't really make any sense.
    "The 5th best student" means the fifth student out of all the best students, which is what you mean. "The best students" and "the top students" mean the same thing.

    So I'd change your last part of the sentence to: "Still, my mark was a bit worse then the fifth best student."

    Hope this helped.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-F
    You would use the second case normally if she HAD BEEN in the classroom, but was no longer there. This is because "had been" refers to something that used to be true, but no longer is.


    1.Josh had already gone home before I got to the pary.
    [Josh had already gone home]:Josh went home.

    2.Someone had broken into our apartment when we got home last night.
    [Someone had broken into our apartment]:Someone broken into our home.

    Therefore, the logic inferred from the examples listed above leads me to think about the possibility of Wai's example, the presence of the teacher.
    3. The teacher had been already in the classroom before students came in.
    [The teacher had been already in the classroom]: The teacher was there.


    Do you understand my logic here?


    So if you tell me that the teacher had been in the classroom and was no longer there, I need to pause and think. And would you care for putting on thinking cap? Here are some questions I have now,



    Compare: Don't they convey the same meaning?

    • Josh had already gone home before I got to the pary.
      Josh went home before I got to the pary.

      Someone had broken into our apartment when we got home last night.
      Someone broke into our apartment when we got home last night.


      The teacher had been already in the classroom before students came in.
      The teacher was already in the classroom before students came in.




    Had the teacher had to leave the classroom?
    8) :wink: :P :D

  4. #4
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    Default Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    3. The teacher had been already in the classroom before students came in.
    The teacher had been already in the classroom before the students came in. (Not OK)

    The teacher had already been in the classroom before the students came in. (OK)

    Note, the teacher was not in the classroom when the students arrived.

    Try an active verb,

    The teacher had already entered the classroom before the students arrived.

    => Two connected events: Event #1 The teacher entered, Event #2 The students arrived.


    The teacher entered the classroom before the students arrived.
    => Two events connected by 'before'; 'had' is not necessary, but, it's preferred by some.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    1: In the first example, you would normally use the second, but it depends on the situation. If you mean that she came earlier, and was still in the classroom when they arrived, then use "The teacher was already..."

    You would use the second case normally if she HAD BEEN in the classroom, but was no longer there. This is because "had been" refers to something that used to be true, but no longer is.
    To me, if "had been" is acceptable, it sounds like the teacher came first. Then the students came. When they came, the teacher was there.

    Another example:
    - I had finished my homework before my mum returned home.
    (Based on your idea, it would mean I had finished my homework at one time. But after my mum returned, I no longer finished my homework)



    I'm not sure exactly what you mean in the second example, but if you mean that the teacher was working hard whent he students came in, then you could use either, but probably the second. This is for the exact same reason as last time:

    "The teacher was already working very hard when we came in" means that the teacher was working hard when you came in, and continued working.

    "The teacher had already been working hard when we came in" means that she had been working hard earlier, but stopped when you came in.

    Silly me. Please forgive my mistake.
    The pronoun I should substitute for "my teacher".
    But I'm afraid you messed up 2 sentences.

    The sentence should be:
    - I __ already very hardworking. Still my mark is a bit worse than the best 5th student.

    NOT:
    I __ already very hardworking when we came in




    In your final example "Still my mark is a bit worse than the best 5th student," I would start by changing "my mark IS a bit worse..." to "my mark WAS a bit worse...", because you usually refer to a mark being GIVEN to you (ie, in the past), rather than still having a mark.
    Thanks for your correction.

    Next, "the best 5th student" sounds like the best student out of all the fifth students. It doesn't really make any sense.
    "The 5th best student" means the fifth student out of all the best students, which is what you mean. "The best students" and "the top students" mean the same thing.

    So I'd change your last part of the sentence to: "Still, my mark was a bit worse then the fifth best student."

    Hope this helped.
    Thanks again for your correction.
    You are very great to pinpoint mistaked made in the sentence.
    > "Still, my mark was a bit worse then the fifth best/top student."

    I wonder if "then" is wrong. It should be "than (thAn)".

  6. #6
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    Default Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wai_Wai
    To me, if "had been" is acceptable, it sounds like the teacher came first. Then the students came. When they came, the teacher was there.
    Bingo! Can you read mind?
    Have you got the chance to see my example sentences?

    (Sorry, I kind of fotget the original ones.)
    (1)The teacher had already been in the classroom before the students arrived.
    (2)The teacher was in the classroom before the students arrived.

    But it seems like we are on the wrong track. The teacher was not there if we have to use past perfect. :?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    But it seems like we are on the wrong track. The teacher was not there if we have to use past perfect. :?
    Not necessarily. It's the participle "been" that makes it so. It means, existed (i.e., was no longer there). :wink:

  8. #8
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    Default Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    But it seems like we are on the wrong track. The teacher was not there if we have to use past perfect. :?
    Not necessarily. It's the participle "been" that makes it so. It means, existed (i.e., was no longer there). :wink:
    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    1.Josh had already gone home before I got to the pary.
    [Josh had already gone home]:Josh went home.

    2.Someone had broken into our apartment when we got home last night.
    [Someone had broken into our apartment]:Someone broken into our home.

    Therefore, the logic inferred from the examples listed above leads me to think about the possibility of Wai's example, the presence of the teacher.
    3. The teacher had been already in the classroom before students came in.
    [The teacher had been already in the classroom]: The teacher was there.


    Do you understand my logic here?

    Okay, Cassie, I think you understand my logic here. The two sets listed above are acceptable, and it's not necessary to use either simple past or past perfect to indicate the completed action. The meaning is clear when the verb is somewhat active, so the teacher was there in both of your sentences.

    The teacher had already entered the classroom before the students arrived.
    => Two connected events: Event #1 The teacher entered, Event #2 The students arrived.


    The teacher entered the classroom before the students arrived.
    => Two events connected by 'before'; 'had' is not necessary, but, it's preferred by some.

    I know what you mean by that 'been' implies 'existed'. At first, I thought it as a simple past meaning of 'is'.

    "Get lost, Mr. Been." 8)


    Am I close to you now, Miss. Sushi? :D :D :D :D :D

  9. #9
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    Default

    [modified]

    So does it mean:

    (1)The teacher had already been in the classroom before the students came in.
    --> It means the teacher came in first. The students came later. When they came, the teacher was NOT there.


    (2)The teacher was in the classroom before the students came in.
    --> It means the teacher came in first. The students came later. When they came, the teacher was STILL there.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    But it seems like we are on the wrong track. The teacher was not there if we have to use past perfect. :?
    Not necessarily. It's the participle "been" that makes it so. It means, existed (i.e., was no longer there). :wink:
    Correct me if wrong.
    Past participle doesn't mean "things was once true, but it was no longer true".

    Eg:
    - I had finished my homework before my mum returned home.
    (Based on your idea, it would mean I had finished my homework at one time. But after my mum returned, I no longer finished my homework)

    It appears to me "past participle" itself simply focuses on the completion of something. Things may continue to happen or not.

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