Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 769
    #1

    Past continuous vs past perfect continuos

    a) Henson never thought about retirement. In fact, he was making/had been making a documentary film about the indigenous people of Chile when he died.

    b) The couple described how they were eating/had been eating in the dining room.

    c) The couple described how they were eating/had been eating in the dining room when the explosion destroyed the hotel.

    d) She was breathing hard as if she had been running/had run.

    Are all these sentences possible? Are they grammatically correct? Or are there any differences in the meaning?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 769
    #2

    Re: Past continuous vs past perfect continuos

    PLEASE; COULD YOU HELP ME WITH THIS??

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 769
    #3

    Re: Past continuous vs past perfect continuos

    COULD YOU HELP ME WITH THIS??

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #4

    Re: Past continuous vs past perfect continuos

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    a) Henson never thought about retirement. In fact, he was making/had been making a documentary film about the indigenous people of Chile when he died.

    b) The couple described how they were eating/had been eating in the dining room.

    c) The couple described how they were eating/had been eating in the dining room when the explosion destroyed the hotel.

    d) She was breathing hard as if she had been running/had run.

    Are all these sentences possible? Are they grammatically correct? Or are there any differences in the meaning?

    ***** A NON-TEACHER's COMMENT *****


    (1) Mr. Raymond Murphy's Grammar in Use gives this useful

    information:

    When I looked out the window, it had been raining. (= It

    wasn't raining when I looked out; it had [already] stopped.)

    When I looked out the window, it was raining. (= Rain was [still]

    falling at the time I looked out.)

    (2) Based on Mr. Murphy's examples, maybe (maybe!!!) we can

    see a little difference in your first sentence:

    He was making a documentary when he died. (Maybe = He was

    actually filming on the day that he died.)

    He had been making a documentary when he died. (Maybe = On the

    day he died, he had already stopped filming a few days before.)

    (3) Study this example from Mr. Swan, who says that we use the

    past perfect progressive to talk about longer actions which had

    continued up to the past moment, or shortly before it:

    "When I found Mary, I could see that she had been crying."

    I am 99% confident that the sentence =

    I found Mary. She was NOT crying at that moment. But her red

    eyes were proof that she had been crying a few minutes before.


    And I am 100% confident that "When I found Mary, she was crying"

    = I found Mary. At that moment, tears were still coming out of her eyes.


    (4) Let's see what other members say.


    Respectfully yours,


    James

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #5

    Re: Past continuous vs past perfect continuos

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    a) Henson never thought about retirement. In fact, he was making/had been making a documentary film about the indigenous people of Chile when he died.

    b) The couple described how they were eating/had been eating in the dining room.

    c) The couple described how they were eating/had been eating in the dining room when the explosion destroyed the hotel.

    d) She was breathing hard as if she had been running/had run.

    Are all these sentences possible? Are they grammatically correct? Or are there any differences in the meaning?
    b is incomplete, and the thought is completed with c.

    Some people may see a big difference between your two forms in c. I don't. Same idea. I would not assume that their meal was finished when the bomb went off.

    In d, only "had been running" works.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Past simple, past continuous and past perfect
    By fuadha in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 18-Aug-2009, 12:17
  2. simple past - past perfect continuous interrogativedifferences
    By Unregistered9996 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 26-Dec-2007, 04:05
  3. difference between past continous and past perfect continuous
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 29-Apr-2007, 05:53
  4. Past perfect and Past prefect continuous
    By deer in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 28-Jul-2004, 12:53

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •