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  1. #1
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
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    was working as a chef for a year

    I do not know if there are any differences in writing the following sentences. I use different tenses. If there are differences between the two sentences, I don't know what they are.

    1. He was working as a chef for a year before he decided to change job.

    2. He had been working as a chef for a year before he decided to change job.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: was working as a chef for a year

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    I do not know if there are any differences in writing the following sentences. I use different tenses. If there are differences between the two sentences, I don't know what they are.

    1. He was working as a chef for a year before he decided to change jobs. ​(or "change his job.")

    2. He had been working as a chef for a year before he decided to change job​s. ​(or "change his job.")

    Thank you.
    Both are fine in conversation, and they mean the same thing. But one is better English. Can you tell which one?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. #3
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
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    Re: was working as a chef for a year

    Hmmm....I cannot tell which is better English!

    If I were to write in an English examination, which one is better?

    Thank you!

  4. #4
    Tarheel's Avatar
    Tarheel is offline VIP Member
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    Re: was working as a chef for a year

    I would use simple past, thus:

    He worked as a chef for a year before he decided to change jobs.

    (Did he change jobs or change careers?)

  5. #5
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
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    Re: was working as a chef for a year

    I don't understand. I thought it is necessary to use the perfect tense since there are two verbs.

    For example, 'He had worked as a chef for a year before he decided to change jobs/careers.'

    I don't understand the difference.

    Thank you.

  6. #6
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
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    Re: was working as a chef for a year

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    But one is better English. Can you tell which one?
    Which is better and why?

    Thank you.

  7. #7
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: was working as a chef for a year

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    I don't understand. I thought it is necessary to use the perfect tense since there are two verbs.

    For example, 'He had worked as a chef for a year before he decided to change jobs/careers.'

    I don't understand the difference.

    Thank you.
    I never heard of that "rule" before.

    Perhaps:

    He worked as a chef for a year before he decided to change careers.

    Or:

    After working as a chef for a year, he decided to change careers.

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