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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    was going to...but

    I was just going to cut my rose bushes but someone____________ it.
    Was it you?
    A. has done B.had done C. would do D will do

    The given answer is B. But can we use A? I thought the time reference is now. We use the present perfect to offer new information and then use the past simple to give the details. So the following sentence 'Was it you?' is in the past simple. Am I right?

    Thank you in advance.



  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: was going to...but

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    I was just going to cut my rose bushes but someone____________ it.
    Was it you?
    A. has done B.had done C. would do D will do

    The given answer is B. But can we use A? I thought the time reference is now. We use the present perfect to offer new information and then use the past simple to give the details. So the following sentence 'Was it you?' is in the past simple. Am I right?

    Thank you in advance.

    In your example A is correct. If it said "I was going to ..." without the "just", B would be correct IMO.

  3. #3
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    Re: was going to...but

    A question to bhaisahab:

    My understanding is:
    At the time I was just going to cut the rose bushes, I found someone had done it. So I asked, was that you (who did it)? ---[I use 'that' to replace 'it' in the original one and please tell me if my way sounds better or the same.]

    It sounds quite comfortable for me to choose B as the correct answer.

    What's nuance between I was just going to and I was going to that has made you choose differently. Thank you.

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: was going to...but

    Quote Originally Posted by jiamajia View Post
    A question to bhaisahab:

    My understanding is:
    At the time I was just going to cut the rose bushes, I found someone had done it. So I asked, was that you (who did it)? ---[I use 'that' to replace 'it' in the original one and please tell me if my way sounds better or the same.]

    It sounds quite comfortable for me to choose B as the correct answer.

    What's nuance between I was just going to and I was going to that has made you choose differently. Thank you.
    For me, the "just" gives a sense of immediacy, it's happening now so "has" is appropriate. Without "just" it has a past tense feel and "had" is correct.

  5. #5
    norwolf is offline Member
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    Re: was going to...but

    Well, dear bh. Thank you very much for your helping hand.
    My question is why the following sentence from longman, which is without just:
    I was to see/was going to see/was to have seen Mr Kay tomorrow, but the appointment has been cancelled.
    makes sense totally?

  6. #6
    LiuJing is offline Member
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    Re: was going to...but

    Quote Originally Posted by norwolf View Post
    Well, dear bh. Thank you very much for your helping hand.
    My question is why the following sentence from longman, which is without just:
    I was to see/was going to see/was to have seen Mr Kay tomorrow, but the appointment has been cancelled.
    makes sense totally?
    At least 'was to have seen Kay tomorrow' does not make sense to me at all.

    Look at these lines:

    I was about to fly to New York last month, but the trip was canceled at the eleventh hour.

    I was about to fly to New York last month, but the trip had been canceled before I arrived at the airport.
    Last edited by LiuJing; 16-Jul-2010 at 05:25.

  7. #7
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Re: was going to...but

    Quote Originally Posted by norwolf View Post
    Well, dear bh. Thank you very much for your helping hand.
    My question is why the following sentence from longman, which is without just:
    I was to see/was going to see/was to have seen Mr Kay tomorrow, but the appointment has been cancelled.
    makes sense totally?
    I was to see X tomorrow, but the appointment has been cancelled.
    I was going to see X tomorrow, but the appointment has been cancelled.
    I was to have seen X tomorrow, but the appointment has been cancelled.
    I was going to cut my rose bushes tomorrow but someone has done it.
    I was going to cut my rose bushes but someone has done it.
    I was going to cut my rose bushes but someone had done it.
    I was just going to cut my rose bushes but someone has done it.
    All of the above are correct, but the first three would not be correct with "had". Can you see why?

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