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    #1

    past tenses with 'until'

    Hello,

    I came across a simple sentence where one needs to use the correct tense:

    I (sleep) until you came.

    I came up with the following:

    1. I slept until you came.
    2. I was sleeping until you came.
    3. I had been sleeping until you came.

    However, I'm not sure (2) is a good sentence. Or is it?
    I'd be grateful for any comments.

    Thank you.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: past tenses with 'until'

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    1. I slept until you came.
    2. I was sleeping until you came.
    3. I had been sleeping until you came.
    In the right context, all of those are possible, as is:

    4 I had slept until you came.

    If the original "I (sleep) until you came" was a test question, it was a bad one.

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    #3

    Re: past tenses with 'until'

    All my tests seem to have been written by monkeys.
    Thank you, 5jj.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: past tenses with 'until'

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    All my tests seem to have been written by monkeys.
    When I think of some of the tests and exercises I wrote in my early days of teaching, I realise that I was a monkey once - and probably still am, occasionally.

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    #5

    Re: past tenses with 'until'

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    I came across a simple sentence where one needs to use the correct tense:

    I (sleep) until you came.

    I came up with the following:

    1. I slept until you came.
    2. I was sleeping until you came.
    3. I had been sleeping until you came.

    However, I'm not sure (2) is a good sentence. Or is it?
    I'd be grateful for any comments.

    Thank you.
    I'm in total agreement with the previous posters that that is a terrible question.

    To simplify matters (in real life), I'd have said "I was asleep until you came."

  4. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: past tenses with 'until'

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    All my tests seem to have been written by monkeys.
    Thank you, 5jj.
    Mistakes are hard to avoid untill you are a human being. The best policy is not to judge people even if they made a bad mistake.

    To the point I would say that mistakes like that make you stronger. This way you learn, on mistakes. The worse a mistake the more you learn.

    I would be gratefull if you, dear teachers, correct my grammar in this post.

    Thanks, Alex.

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    #7

    Re: past tenses with 'until'

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexAD View Post
    To the point I would say that mistakes like that make you stronger. This way you learn, on mistakes. The worse a mistake the more you learn.

    .
    You've made a good point, but I don't quite agree with you.
    Perhaps 'oversight' is a better word here. I believe that such questions may plunge learners into confusion and despair and might even put them off learning grammar, espeically at lower levels or when there's no one around to help. Apart from checking students' knowledge, tests are also supposed to save teachers' time. In reality, many test questions themselves need careful checking or rewriting, which is time-consuming.
    Last edited by Verona_82; 08-Jun-2011 at 11:29.

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    #8

    Re: past tenses with 'until'

    Can't argue with you on that.

    There is always a very fine line between a (really) bad excercise and one, from which you can learn and improve your knowledge.

    Dear teachers, I would be grateful if you, would correct my grammar in the post.

    Thanks, Alex.

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    #9

    Re: past tenses with 'until'

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexAD View Post
    There is always a very fine line between a (really) bad excercise and one, from which you can learn and improve your knowledge.
    From you last post: The worse a mistake the more you learn.

    So which is it?

    Correction:
    Mistakes are hard to avoid untill if you are a human being. The best policy is not to judge people even if they make a bad mistake.

    To the point, I would say that mistakes like that make you stronger. This way you learn, on mistakes. The worse a mistake the more you learn.
    I want to practice archery, but I've never done it before. Will you put an apple on your head? I'm sure we both have much to learn.

  7. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: past tenses with 'until'

    Raymott, I see your point.

    But I think your example about archery isn't very good metaphor for the situation being discussed.

    No one is going to die if they make a mistake in their writing or speaking. Though, there are some but very few exceptions.

    If you have a book that gives you some 'bad' examples, you always have a choice to give that book up or go ahead and try to do a research on some 'dark' areas. It's no bad if you choose the first point and sometimes it's the right way. Why? Because our time is limited.

    But it's not all bad in my opinion because it still gets your more knowledge, because it makes you focus your attention on the 'bad' mistakes, analyze it deeply, and, finally, memorize it.

    So it's all about that fine line mentioned above and the matter of personal choice.

    I would be grateful if you would highlight my mistakes in this post.

    Thanks, Alex.
    Last edited by AlexAD; 08-Jun-2011 at 17:35.

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