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    #1

    Why had you been running

    Why is my answer incorrect?

    Mr Smith asked him, "Why HAD you BEEN RUNNING away? "

    Answer is "Why WERE you RUNNING away? "

    I agree that the answer sounds much better. I would like to understand why my using of 'had. ...been running' is incorrect in this question.

    Thank you!

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Why had you been running

    Reported speech: Mr Smith asked him why he had been running away.
    Direct speech: Mr Smith asked him, 'Why were you running away?'
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Why had you been running

    May I know is direct and indirect speech the only way to explain this?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Why had you been running

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    May I know is if direct and indirect speech is the only way to explain this?
    Note my correction to your construction above.

    It's certainly the most obvious explanation. I have struggled to come up with a natural dialogue in which the original with "had been" would appear. I could probably invent a convoluted one but I'm not sure it's worth it.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Why had you been running

    You haven't given the question. That makes our guess as to why your answer is wrong rather difficult.
    There's nothing wrong with your sentence in the right context. But there's also nothing in your (lack of) context that should make you choose the past perfect which, as you know, requires certain conditions.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Why had you been running

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    You need some other act in the past to use the past perfect.
    .
    I am not a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: Why had you been running

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You haven't given the question.
    That was the question. No context other than that. It was a grammar exercise.

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    #8

    Re: Why had you been running

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    ... I have struggled to come up with a natural dialogue in which the original with "had been" would appear. I could probably invent a convoluted one but I'm not sure it's worth it.
    Let me try...

    Suspect: "No, I had been at the bar all night. I wasn't anywhere near the park. I was sitting having a drink when you came in and arrested me"!

    Cop: "Oh come on Jimmy, when I walked in there, you were still sweating heavily. Obviously, you had been running just before I got there. Where were you running from, eh Jimmy"?

    Suspect: "Look, officer, do ya think if I had been running away from the scene of a crime that I would have decided to stop here and have a drink"?

    What do you think?

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    #9

    Re: Why had you been running

    But unlike Mr Smith in the OP, the cop didn't ask 'Why had you been running away?'

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Why had you been running

    Is it possible to ask 'Why had you been running away when you fell?'
    I am not a teacher.

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