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  1. Member
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    #1

    I arrived at the airport ____ the plane had taken off.

    I arrived at the airport ____ the plane had taken off.
    A. after
    B. while

    C. when

    D. before
    (a test question)

    The answer key is A, but I think C(when) is also OK.
    When also has the meaning of after sometimes. What do you say?
    Thanks.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I arrived at the airport ____ the plane had taken off.

    I would use 'after' in this particular sentence. 'When' suggests a particular time-point, which is inappropriate here.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I arrived at the airport ____ the plane had taken off.

    What's wrong with D?
    "I arrived at the airport before the plane had taken off, but they said I was too late to board."

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    #4

    Re: I arrived at the airport ____ the plane had taken off.

    Before and after are equally likely.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: I arrived at the airport ____ the plane had taken off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    What's wrong with D?
    "I arrived at the airport before the plane had taken off, but they said I was too late to board."
    I cant quite understand the logic of this sentence above. Did the writer arrive earlier or later than the plane take off? In my opinion, if you say the plane had taken off and I arrived at the airport in the same sentence, you mean the action of the plane took place earlier than the action of me. How can before be used in that way in the sentence?Thanks for your patience.

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    #6

    Re: I arrived at the airport ____ the plane had taken off.

    In Raymott's scenario, there is a period of time when the passengers (except you) have boarded, the boarding gate has closed and the plane is being prepared for take-off.

    If you arrive at the airport after the gate has closed you will not be allowed to board the plane, even though it has not yet taken off.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 26-Nov-2016 at 14:43.

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: I arrived at the airport ____ the plane had taken off.

    Quote Originally Posted by touchstone View Post
    I cant quite understand the logic of this sentence above.
    I think this has less to do with one thing happening before the other, than it does the sequence of tenses.

    Airline Rule: "You must arrive (present) before the plane has taken (present perfect) off."
    Me: "But I did arrive (past) before the plane had taken (past perfect) off!" (Backshifted).

    Another point is that the plane has/had not taken off. The sentence is not comparing the two actions i) I arrived at the airport and 2) The plane had taken off. That didn't happen.

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