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      • Native Language:
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    #1

    He was/had been my Professor five years ago

    The book IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH (published in India) says we should say 'He had been my Professor five years ago' rather than 'He was my Professor five years ago'. The sentence is without a context. I feel puzzled about it. Could you explain why 'was' couldn't be used?

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by joham; 03-May-2012 at 03:16.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He was/had been my Professor five years ago

    If you are reproducing the sentence accurately, throw the book in the nearest recyling bin.

    He was my professor five years ago.
    He has been my professor for five years.
    (They mean different things, of course.)

    But not: He has been my professor five years ago.

    By the way, don't capitalize "professor."
    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.

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