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

    • Join Date: Jun 2013
    • Posts: 2

    I am just not getting it!

    Q1 - By the time we ____, everyone had left.
    had arrived Why can't you use both here?

    Q2 - I _____ a long time ago.
    had finshed
    Either could be used here. Why can you use both here?

    Q3 - By that time, everybody ____ exhausted.
    had been
    Either could be used here. This one I kind of get.

    Q4 - She told me she ____ it ages ago.
    had done
    Either could be used here. Please someone clarify this one as well

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 58,846

    Re: I am just not getting it!

    I would say:

    1 The people clearly left first- before your arrival.
    2 There's nothing in the context to restrict the meaning to one.
    3 There classic rules of indirect speech would recommend backshifting to the past perfect, but in everyday usage, we often don't bother.


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