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    #1

    did vs was doing vs had been doing

    1)"What did your son do before he enrolled in a community college?"

    OR

    2)"What was your son doing before he enrolled in a community college?"

    OR

    3)"What had your son been doing before he enrolled in a community college?"

    Would it be acceptable and natural to substitute the first sentence for 2) or 3) in conversation to sound informal?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: did vs was doing vs had been doing

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    1)"What did your son do before he enrolled in a community college?"
    2)"What was your son doing before he enrolled in a community college?"
    3)"What had your son been doing before he enrolled in a community college?"
    It's not really a matter of informality. In practical terms there is not a great deal of difference between those three utterances.

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: did vs was doing vs had been doing

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It's not really a matter of informality. In practical terms there is not a great deal of difference between those three utterances.
    I guess the third utterance is less likely to be heard from a speaker on the streets.?

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