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  1. Gorkem Atay's Avatar
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    #1

    had been watching/ was watching

    Hi all to you,


    1. I had been watching TV when she came.

    2. I was watching TV when she came.


    What is the difference between the sentences above?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: had been watching/ was watching

    The first one is not natural.

  3. Gorkem Atay's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: had been watching/ was watching

    Sorry bhaisahab, I want to ask what you mean by saying it is not natural. It is not used commonly or it does not make any sense.
    Last edited by Gorkem Atay; 11-Jul-2014 at 15:25.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: had been watching/ was watching

    My opinion is that it works only if you want to stress the length of time you had been watching TV.

    I had been watching Netflix for 6 hours straight when she came. My butt was asleep and I'd gained two pounds in one day.
    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.

  5. Gorkem Atay's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: had been watching/ was watching

    Okay,so what about this exapmle:

    ''They had been discussing some important matters before I got there''

    I think this sentence's sound does not unnatural, right ?


    If I make it like ''They were discussing some important matters before I got there'' , it will be wrong, won't it?

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: had been watching/ was watching

    No, it's not wrong. It depends on the context. What is the connection between what they were doing before you got there, and your getting there? An isolated sentence doesn't usually give enough context to decide whether the past perfect is warranted.
    "I promised to paint the room for him, but he was painting the room before I got there." The past continuous is right. The past perfect would be wrong in the second clause, though you could use it in the first.
    "He had been painting the room before I got there, and the place really smelled." Here, there is a logical connection that works with the past perfect. The place smelled because he had been painting.
    "He was painting/had painted/had been painting the room before I got there." There's no indication here that any specific tense needs to be used. There is simply not enough context. This is what your example is like.

  7. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: had been watching/ was watching

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorkem Atay View Post
    I want to ask what you mean by saying it is not natural.
    When the teachers say my sentence is not natural, I think it is understandable but does not sound good to native speakers.
    I hope I have interpreted correctly.

    Not a teacher.

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