before, until

Status
Not open for further replies.

joham

Key Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
Nearly a month had gone by _____ they went out of the forest.
A. until B. while C. before D. after
(The given answer is C.)
I'd like to know if A is also fine. And why?

Thank you very much.
 

henz988

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
Nearly a month had gone by _____ they went out of the forest.
A. until B. while C. before D. after
(The given answer is C.)
I'd like to know if A is also fine. And why?

"they went out of the forest" is just a point of time; until doesn't work here in that it refers to a period of time.

Let's see how natives will explain the question.
 

puzzle

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2007
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
Any comments?
 

puzzle

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2007
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
Any comments? Please.
 

shalstudent

VIP Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2007
Member Type
Teacher (Other)
Native Language
Malayalam
Home Country
India
Current Location
India
The choices that match here are:

1) Nearly a month had gone by before they went out of the forest- meaning they did not get out of the forest for almost a month.

2) Nearly a month had gone by after they went out of the forest- meaning they went out of the forest almost a month ago.

I dont' think that "until" and "while will be suitable here.
 

henz988

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
China
Current Location
China
Nearly a month had gone by _____ they went out of the forest.
A. until B. while C. before D. after
(The given answer is C.)
I'd like to know if A is also fine. And why?

"they went out of the forest" is just a point of time; until doesn't work here in that it refers to a period of time.
-----------
“Nearly a month had gone by” is just a description of a fact, and the fact itself doesn’t last up to the point of time (please don’t be confused by a month) when they “went out of the forest.” In other words, “Nearly a month had gone by” means a terminative action, not a period of time.
I hope I have made myself understood.
 

apex2000

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2005
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Wales
The wording of the latter part is not best practice:
....they went -
....they left the forest. cf Fowler

Although went (used to be past tense of wend) is now usually the past tense of go, go is motion and does not fit the sentence. Left as past tense of leave is not only better English and better spoken English it is more correct.:cool:
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top