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    #1

    Usage of 'By the time' and 'when'

    I am checking the ticket status by the time you asked him.
    I am checking the ticket status when you asked him.

    Can you tell me which one of the above is correct and also correct the errors in the sentences?


    Adding to this..
    I am not sure about the polite way of questioning.
    Please give me the ideas to ask this "Can you tell me which one of the above is correct and also correct the errors ...." in polite way.
    Last edited by vijayalakshmi.g; 03-Feb-2015 at 03:10. Reason: Additional question

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Usage of 'By the time' and 'when'

    I am not sure what you are trying to say in your sentences. Can you explain what you mean?

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    #3

    Re: Usage of 'By the time' and 'when'

    No. 1 is not correct.
    No. 2 - I was checking the ticket status when you asked him. (two past actions happening in parallel)

    You cannot use the present continuous tense with the past. With the past continuous, you can.

    "Could you please tell me which one of the above is correct and also correct the errors."

    'Polite way of asking a question', not 'questioning'.

    not a teacher

  2. Boris Richard's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Usage of 'By the time' and 'when'

    Both of them are not correct.
    1. I was checking the ticket status by the time you asked him.
    2. I was checking the ticket status when you asked him.
    Here is the difference:
    http://www.grammar-quizzes.com/8-6.html#bythetimewhen

    I'm not a teacher.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Usage of 'By the time' and 'when'

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Richard View Post
    Both of them are not correct.
    1. I was checking the ticket status by the time you asked him.
    2. I was checking the ticket status when you asked him.
    Both 'by the time' and 'when' can refer to the past. But I would say 'I had checked the ticket status by the time you asked him' if 'checking' happened before 'asking'.

    Not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: Usage of 'By the time' and 'when'

    It doesn't make sense that the checking of ticket status was still going on by the time one person asked another.
    'By the time' is used to describe a change of event, not when the same thing continues.

    not a teacher

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