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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    tenses with 'until'

    1. I had waited six weeks until the parcel arrived.
    2. I was waiting six weeks until the parcel arrived.
    3. I waited six weeks until the parcel arrived.
    4. I had been waiting six weeks until the parcel arrived.

    Are all four sentences fine without differences? And how about 'Six weeks went by/ had gone by until the parcel arrived'?

    Could I ask native English teachers to help me with these questions?

    Thank you very much.
    Last edited by joham; 24-Jan-2008 at 08:08. Reason: something added.

  2. #2
    louhevly is offline Member
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    Re: tenses with 'until'

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    1. I had waited six weeks until the parcel arrived.
    2. I was waiting six weeks until the parcel arrived.
    3. I waited six weeks until the parcel arrived.
    4. I had been waiting six weeks until the parcel arrived.

    Are all four sentences fine without differences? And how about 'Six weeks went by/ had gone by until the parcel arrived'?

    Could I ask native English teachers to help me with these questions?

    Thank you very much.
    To my ear they are all kind of weird; I guess 3 would be OK, but it would be better as "I waited six weeks for the parcel to arrive".

    You can leave out the "six weeks" and 1, 2 and 3 sound OK. 4 would sound better as "I'd been waiting for the parcel to arrive".

    Or you could change "until" to "before" and then 1, 3 and 4 sound OK ("I had waited six weeks before the parcel arrived", etc.).

    Where did you find these sentences? You might try going to Google and doing a search on "until the * arrived" (including quote marks). Then you'll have a better idea of which tenses are normally used with "until".

  3. #3
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Re: tenses with 'until'

    Martin Hewings' ADVANCED GRAMMAR IN USE (2005 edition, Cambridge), unit 79:
    We had to wait six weeks until/ before the parcel arrived.

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