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    #1

    The choice of the correct tense

    Dear teachers,

    My friend asked me about the following situation with respect to the correct usage of tense:

    A person goes to a job interview. When he/she has entered the room, the interviewer says that the interview will be in English. Now the personís answer would be:


    1. I have been expecting it.
    2. I have expected it.
    3. I was expecting it.
    4. I expected it.


    The first two are, in my opinion, correct. The third one would be maybe possible, but the last one, I think, is incorrect. Could you help me choose the correct tense?

    Thank you very much.

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    #2

    Re: The choice of the correct tense

    Not a teacher

    For me, I will choose the first.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 25-Nov-2014 at 12:52. Reason: Deleting unnecessary quote.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The choice of the correct tense

    - The interview will be in English.
    - That's fine. I was expecting that.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The choice of the correct tense

    I also prefer "that".

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    #5

    Re: The choice of the correct tense

    Thank you all. Yes, "that" sounds much better. I looked into Swan's Practical English Usage and found a possible explanation of why there should be the past continous tense. He says that "We use a past tense to refer to a belief that has just been shown to be true or false." That is probably this case, isn't it? But could you give any example where "have been expecting" is used? Can such a sentence even exist, then?
    Thank you!

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    #6

    Re: The choice of the correct tense

    'I hope my new cheque book comes soon; I've been expecting it all week.'

    Please note that a better title would have been I have been expecting it.

    Extract from the Posting Guidelines:

    'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'

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    #7

    Re: The choice of the correct tense

    Thanks, Rover-KE. And yes, I usually use a more precise title, but this time I just didn’t know as there were more choices. Next time I’ll know.

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