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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Vietnamese
      • Home Country:
      • Vietnam
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Nov 2016
    • Posts: 30
    #1

    was home vs had been home

    I have written two sentences below.

    (1) John and Mary were home when we were leaving for the airport.

    (2) John and Mary had been home when we were leaving for the airport.

    Yesterday, I talked about the sentences with my non-native English speaking friends. None of us could figure out how the two tenses simple past continuous and past perfect continuous changed the meaning of the sentences.

    Please explain it. Thank you very much for your help.

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 66,246
    #2

    Re: was home vs had been home

    I don't see the reason for the past perfect in the second.

  3. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 28,205
    #3

    Re: was home vs had been home

    The tenses in red are not past continuous; 'were leaving' is past continuous.

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