Student or Learner
Can you please tell me which following sentence is grammatical?
1)I had been reading a book before you came here.
2)I was reading a book before you came here.
It's better to use past continuous tense rather than past perfect continuous if you don't include a duration.
Reference : http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/...ontinuous.html
I'm not a teacher.
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
Thanks to Boris Richard's excellent link, I now think that I see the difference:
1. "I was reading a book when you arrived." = I was reading a book at the exact moment that you arrived at my home and knocked on the door.
2. "I had been reading a book when you arrived." = When you arrived at my home and knocked on the door, I was still reading a book or I had just finished reading.
I have made up these sentences:
3. I was sleeping when the earthquake shook the house. = The earthquake hit at 4:30 a.m. At that exact moment, I was still in dreamland.
4. I had been sleeping when the earthquake shook the house. = The same as #3 OR the earthquake hit at 4:30 a.m. I had just gotten out of my bed at 4:29 in order to go to the bathroom!
It's more natural to say "before you arrived" or "before you got here" than "before you came here".
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.