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  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #11

    Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    1.Josh had already gone home before I got to the pary.
    [Josh had already gone home]: Josh went home.

    2.Someone had broken into our apartment when we got home last night.
    [Someone had broken into our apartment]:Someone broken into our home.

    Therefore, the logic inferred from the examples listed above leads me to think about the possibility of Wai's example, the presence of the teacher.
    3. The teacher had been already in the classroom before students came in. [The teacher had been already in the classroom]: The teacher was there.
    I don't follow. Sorry. If Josh is not there (at the party) and the robber is not there (in the apartment), then how is it that the teacher is there? By the way, the robber could still be in the apartment ; We don't know.

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    I know what you mean by that 'been' implies 'existed'. At first, I thought it as a simple past meaning of 'is'.
    The meaning of the verb is important. 'had...before' simply expresses that one event took place before another. 'Josh had gone' means he left. It's the verb that tells us he left, not the 'had' part. 'Someone had broken in...before we got home' tells us that the act of breaking in happened before 'we got home'. It doesn't tell us the whereabouts of the robber.

    All the best, :D

    psst. Miss doesn't require a period (i.e., Mr., Mrs., and Miss). But note, I believe the period is not required in BrE. But we should check that out with Sir tdol.)


    • Join Date: Apr 2004
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Wai_Wai
    So does it mean:

    (1)The teacher had already been in the classroom before the students came in.
    --> It means the teacher came in first. The students came later. When they came, the teacher was still there.


    (2)The teacher was in the classroom before the students came in.
    --> It means the teacher came in first. The students came later. When they came, the teacher was NOT there.



    • Join Date: Apr 2004
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    #13

    Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    If Josh is not there (at the party) and the robber is not there (in the apartment), then how is it that the teacher is there? By the way, the robber could still be in the apartment ; We don't know.
    I understand your point. I was trying to compare different examples within the same 'past-perfect' structure.

    The teacher had left before the students came.
    =The teacher left before the students came.
    Since you've mentioned that someone would have a preference to 'had left.' and they convey the same meaning.

    Then I come to think this example,
    The teacher had been there before students came.
    The teacher was there before the students came.
    If this is right, 'had left' amlost equals to 'left' despite personal preference, why does that 'had been' equal to 'was' have a change in meaning? That was where the confusion started.

    But I know your meaning now, it is because of 'been.'
    (1)I have been there. Now, I am probably not there.
    (2)I had been there before you arrived. When you arrived, I was no longer there.
    So it makes sense that in Wai's example, the teacher was no longer there.

    Cas, do you understand my point? I would like you to confirm to check my comprehension and to see if our communication works, rather than I ask you a question and you answer it. Then, you say 'You're welcome' after my 'Thank you' note. :D :D :D :D :D



    Yes, no need to put a period after Miss.
    Actually, that period was a sushi roll that was sooo tiny that you missed it, too small that you thought it as a period.

    Need a reading glasses? o__O


  2. Sam-F
    Guest
    #14

    Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-F
    You would use the second case normally if she HAD BEEN in the classroom, but was no longer there. This is because "had been" refers to something that used to be true, but no longer is.


    1.Josh had already gone home before I got to the pary.
    [Josh had already gone home]:Josh went home.

    2.Someone had broken into our apartment when we got home last night.
    [Someone had broken into our apartment]:Someone broken into our home.

    Therefore, the logic inferred from the examples listed above leads me to think about the possibility of Wai's example, the presence of the teacher.
    3. The teacher had been already in the classroom before students came in.
    [The teacher had been already in the classroom]: The teacher was there.


    Do you understand my logic here?
    Hi Blacknomi,

    I made a mistake when I said "something that used to be true, but no longer is." What I mean was rather that the action was completed.

    I'd disagree that your examples are equivalent to the teacher example, because your examples are of things that occured at one point in time: Josh went home, someone broke into our apartment. But compare these two examples, the second using the past perfect

    -When we got home, someone was in our appartment,
    -When we got home, someone had been in our appartment.

    It is clear in the first example that the person was still in the apartment, and that, in the second, the intruder had been there but was no longer. I'd say that this example is exactly equivalent with Wai Wai's.

    englishpage.com defines the past perfect as "the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past."

    The key point here is that Wai Wai's sentence was "the teacher had already BEEN in the classroom before we arrived." If this event (her BEING there) happened before they arrived, it couldn't also be happening at the same time.

    Contrast with a sentence that is closer to the examples that you were using: "The teacher had already ARRIVED before we did." This makes no assumptions as to whether or not she was still there: the only action it is describing is her arrival, not her being there. Therefore, she could perfectly well still be there.

    Thus, if you use the past perfect with a verb that is continuous, such as a teacher being somewhere, or, say, someone telling a story, then you are implying that the action has finished:

    -When we got home, someone had been in our appartment.
    -When I arrived in the classoom, he had already told the story.

    ----

    Wai Wai, I did, indeed, make a typo: "worse thAn," not "worse thEn." Sorry.


    • Join Date: Sep 2004
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    #15

    Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-F
    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-F
    You would use the second case normally if she HAD BEEN in the classroom, but was no longer there. This is because "had been" refers to something that used to be true, but no longer is.


    1.Josh had already gone home before I got to the pary.
    [Josh had already gone home]:Josh went home.

    2.Someone had broken into our apartment when we got home last night.
    [Someone had broken into our apartment]:Someone broken into our home.

    Therefore, the logic inferred from the examples listed above leads me to think about the possibility of Wai's example, the presence of the teacher.
    3. The teacher had been already in the classroom before students came in.
    [The teacher had been already in the classroom]: The teacher was there.


    Do you understand my logic here?
    Hi Blacknomi,

    I made a mistake when I said "something that used to be true, but no longer is." What I mean was rather that the action was completed.

    I'd disagree that your examples are equivalent to the teacher example, because your examples are of things that occured at one point in time: Josh went home, someone broke into our apartment. But compare these two examples, the second using the past perfect

    -When we got home, someone was in our appartment,
    -When we got home, someone had been in our appartment.

    It is clear in the first example that the person was still in the apartment, and that, in the second, the intruder had been there but was no longer. I'd say that this example is exactly equivalent with Wai Wai's.

    englishpage.com defines the past perfect as "the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past."

    The key point here is that Wai Wai's sentence was "the teacher had already BEEN in the classroom before we arrived." If this event (her BEING there) happened before they arrived, it couldn't also be happening at the same time.

    Contrast with a sentence that is closer to the examples that you were using: "The teacher had already ARRIVED before we did." This makes no assumptions as to whether or not she was still there: the only action it is describing is her arrival, not her being there. Therefore, she could perfectly well still be there.

    Thus, if you use the past perfect with a verb that is continuous, such as a teacher being somewhere, or, say, someone telling a story, then you are implying that the action has finished:

    -When we got home, someone had been in our appartment.
    -When I arrived in the classoom, he had already told the story.
    When vs before

    > When I arrived in the classroom, the teacher had already been there.
    > Before I arrived in the classroom, the teacher had already been there.

    --> Correct me if wrong.
    Both sentences convey the same meaning. But to me, it rather means the teacher was already there before I arrived. After I arrived, the teacher may be here or not.

    Maybe I take the sentences in that way.
    When/Before I arrived, the teacher had existed there. So the teacher completed the action of being present in the classroom before I arrived. But the teacher can continue to perform the action again, or choose to cease it. So it should be unknown whether the teacher was there or not when I arrived.

    I don't know why 'had been' must mean "something/somebody was present before", "but no longer present at that time". To me 'had been' seem to mean the first part only (no indication on the second part!)

    However based on the context, one may guess what likely the second part is.

    Did I get something wrong in the middle?

    ===============


    > When I arrived in the classroom, the teacher was there.
    --> Logically, the teacher should be there before I arrived. After I arrived, the teacher must still be there when I arrived.

    > Before I arrived in the classroom, the teacher was there.
    --> It just told us the teacher was there before I arrived. After I arrived, the teacher may be here or not.





    Wai Wai, I did, indeed, make a typo: "worse thAn," not "worse thEn." Sorry.
    Never mind.


    • Join Date: Sep 2004
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    #16
    How about he second example:

    2. I __ very hardworking...
    a) had already been
    b) was already

    Does 'had been' convey the same kind of meaning?


    • Join Date: Apr 2004
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    #17

    Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wai_Wai
    > When I arrived in the classroom, the teacher had already been there.
    > Before I arrived in the classroom, the teacher had already been there.

    --> Correct me if wrong.
    Both sentences convey the same meaning. But to me, it rather means the teacher was already there before I arrived. After I arrived, the teacher may be here or not.
    I'm sorry to disappoint you that your teacher was in the powder room when you arrived the classrom. 8)

  3. Sam-F
    Guest
    #18

    Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by Wai_Wai


    When vs before

    > When I arrived in the classroom, the teacher had already been there.
    > Before I arrived in the classroom, the teacher had already been there.

    --> Correct me if wrong.
    Both sentences convey the same meaning. But to me, it rather means the teacher was already there before I arrived. After I arrived, the teacher may be here or not.
    Hi Wai Wai,

    since I can't convince you myself, I'll have to resort to giving you foot-notes ;).

    From Englishpage:

    http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/...ontinuous.html

    "We use the Past Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and continued up until another time in the past. ... however, the duration does not continue until now.

    (They even have a little diagram on their site of an event stopping before the present).

    From the English Grammar page on Fortune City:

    http://www.fortunecity.com/bally/dur.../gramch06.html

    "Perfect Continuous [had been...] : continuous, ongoing actions completed before a certain time"

    "The Past Perfect Continuous tense is used to refer to a continuous, ongoing action in the past which was already completed by the time another action in the past took place."



    ----

    The key point is that the past perfect is usually used when comparing two events in time, and stressing that one event happened before the other. The past perfect continuous (had been) is uses either to specify the length of time that the first action lasted before the second ("I had been studying for two hours before you called"), or to show that the action was completed before the next event ("Before I spoke to my friend, I had been studying"; "I could see that someone had been looking through my drawers when I got home").

    This means that, in the case of the sentences

    -When we got to the class, the teacher was there
    -When we got to the class, the teacher had been there

    The meaning is quite different: The first implies that the teacher is still there, the second that the teacher is no longer there.

    Hope this helped!

    :D


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    #19

    Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Thanks, Sam,

    You've been a great help! Please don't say that your explanation is not convincing. I wouldn't say that I use explanation to convince someone, and I'd rather prefer to say that explanation is used to make people understand.

    Your explanation is neat and



    Blacknomi :D


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    #20

    Re: had been already OR was already; best 5(th)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-F
    englishpage.com defines the past perfect as "the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past."
    What about?

    Only two months after graduation, he had published his first paper,
    on Einstein's theory of general relativity. In this example, his graduation happened before his publishing.


    Can I just use 'published' here?

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