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    #1

    He was washing the car/he had been washing the car

    Hi everyone,
    Is my interpretation of these sentences correct?

    1. "Simon was all wet because he was washing the car." ( He was in the process of washing the car.)

    2. "Simon was all wet because he had been washing the car." (He stopped washing the car but we do not know if he finished or not.)

    3. Simon is wet because he is washing the car. (He is doing it now.)

    4. Simon is wet because he has been washing the car. (He stopped washing it and we do not know if he finished.)

    Thank you.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He was washing the car/he had been washing the car

    Yes.

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    #3

    Re: He was washing the car/he had been washing the car

    I'd say in #2 we know he has finished washing it.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: He was washing the car/he had been washing the car

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    I'd say in #2 we know he has finished washing it.
    We'd know it for sure only if the non-progressive form had been used, in my opinion.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: He was washing the car/he had been washing the car

    I would say that in #4, we know he is still in the process of doing it. If the action were completed, it would be either "because he washed the car" or "because he had been washing the car."

    (He may have stopped for the moment to answer the phone, or whatever, but he's still engaged in the process of getting the car to a state of being clean.)
    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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