had been already OR was already; best 5(th)…

Status
Not open for further replies.

Wai_Wai

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
1. The teacher __ already in the classroom before students came in.
a) had been
b) was

Which one is correct (a) or (b)?
If both are correct, what's the difference (in meaning etc.)?

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

2. I __ already very hardworking. Still my mark is a bit worse than the best 5th student.
a) had been
b) was

Which one is correct (a) or (b)?
If both are correct, what's the difference (in meaning etc.)?
And what is meant by "the best 5th student" / "the best 5 students"?
Is "the best 5 students" = "Top 5 students"?
 
S

Sam-F

Guest
Wai_Wai said:
1. The teacher __ already in the classroom before students came in.
a) had been
b) was

2. The teacher __ already very hardworking. Still my mark is a bit worse than the best 5th student.
a) had been
b) was

Hi Wai Wai,


1: In the first example, you would normally use the second, but it depends on the situation. If you mean that she came earlier, and was still in the classroom when they arrived, then use "The teacher was already..."

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.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean in the second example, but if you mean that the teacher was working hard whent he students came in, then you could use either, but probably the second. This is for the exact same reason as last time:

"The teacher was already working very hard when we came in" means that the teacher was working hard when you came in, and continued working.

"The teacher had already been working hard when we came in" means that she had been working hard earlier, but stopped when you came in.


In your final example "Still my mark is a bit worse than the best 5th student," I would start by changing "my mark IS a bit worse..." to "my mark WAS a bit worse...", because you usually refer to a mark being GIVEN to you (ie, in the past), rather than still having a mark.

Next, "the best 5th student" sounds like the best student out of all the fifth students. It doesn't really make any sense.
"The 5th best student" means the fifth student out of all the best students, which is what you mean. "The best students" and "the top students" mean the same thing.

So I'd change your last part of the sentence to: "Still, my mark was a bit worse then the fifth best student."

Hope this helped.
 

blacknomi

Key Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
Sam-F said:
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? :lol:


So if you tell me that the teacher had been in the classroom and was no longer there, I need to pause and think. And would you care for putting on thinking cap? Here are some questions I have now,



Compare: Don't they convey the same meaning?

  • Josh had already gone home before I got to the pary.
    Josh went home before I got to the pary.

    Someone had broken into our apartment when we got home last night.
    Someone broke into our apartment when we got home last night.


    The teacher had been already in the classroom before students came in.
    The teacher was already in the classroom before students came in.



Had the teacher had to leave the classroom?
:shock: :lol: 8) :shock: :wink: :roll: :p :D
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
blacknomi said:
3. The teacher had been already in the classroom before students came in.

The teacher had been already in the classroom before the students came in. (Not OK)

The teacher had already been in the classroom before the students came in. (OK)

Note, the teacher was not in the classroom when the students arrived.

Try an active verb,

The teacher had already entered the classroom before the students arrived.

=> Two connected events: Event #1 The teacher entered, Event #2 The students arrived.


The teacher entered the classroom before the students arrived.
=> Two events connected by 'before'; 'had' is not necessary, but, it's preferred by some.
 

Wai_Wai

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
1: In the first example, you would normally use the second, but it depends on the situation. If you mean that she came earlier, and was still in the classroom when they arrived, then use "The teacher was already..."

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.

To me, if "had been" is acceptable, it sounds like the teacher came first. Then the students came. When they came, the teacher was there.

Another example:
- I had finished my homework before my mum returned home.
(Based on your idea, it would mean I had finished my homework at one time. But after my mum returned, I no longer finished my homework)



I'm not sure exactly what you mean in the second example, but if you mean that the teacher was working hard whent he students came in, then you could use either, but probably the second. This is for the exact same reason as last time:

"The teacher was already working very hard when we came in" means that the teacher was working hard when you came in, and continued working.

"The teacher had already been working hard when we came in" means that she had been working hard earlier, but stopped when you came in.


Silly me. Please forgive my mistake.
The pronoun I should substitute for "my teacher".
But I'm afraid you messed up 2 sentences.

The sentence should be:
- I __ already very hardworking. Still my mark is a bit worse than the best 5th student.

NOT:
I __ already very hardworking when we came in




In your final example "Still my mark is a bit worse than the best 5th student," I would start by changing "my mark IS a bit worse..." to "my mark WAS a bit worse...", because you usually refer to a mark being GIVEN to you (ie, in the past), rather than still having a mark.

Thanks for your correction.

Next, "the best 5th student" sounds like the best student out of all the fifth students. It doesn't really make any sense.
"The 5th best student" means the fifth student out of all the best students, which is what you mean. "The best students" and "the top students" mean the same thing.

So I'd change your last part of the sentence to: "Still, my mark was a bit worse then the fifth best student."

Hope this helped.

Thanks again for your correction.
You are very great to pinpoint mistaked made in the sentence.
> "Still, my mark was a bit worse then the fifth best/top student."

I wonder if "then" is wrong. It should be "than (thAn)".
 

blacknomi

Key Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
Wai_Wai said:
To me, if "had been" is acceptable, it sounds like the teacher came first. Then the students came. When they came, the teacher was there.

Bingo! Can you read mind?
Have you got the chance to see my example sentences?

(Sorry, I kind of fotget the original ones.)
(1)The teacher had already been in the classroom before the students arrived.
(2)The teacher was in the classroom before the students arrived.

But it seems like we are on the wrong track. The teacher was not there if we have to use past perfect. :? :cry: :roll:
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
blacknomi said:
But it seems like we are on the wrong track. The teacher was not there if we have to use past perfect. :? :cry: :roll:

Not necessarily. It's the participle "been" that makes it so. It means, existed (i.e., was no longer there). :wink:
 

blacknomi

Key Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
Casiopea said:
blacknomi said:
But it seems like we are on the wrong track. The teacher was not there if we have to use past perfect. :? :cry: :roll:

Not necessarily. It's the participle "been" that makes it so. It means, existed (i.e., was no longer there). :wink:

blacknomi said:
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?


Okay, Cassie, I think you understand my logic here. The two sets listed above are acceptable, and it's not necessary to use either simple past or past perfect to indicate the completed action. The meaning is clear when the verb is somewhat active, so the teacher was there in both of your sentences.

The teacher had already entered the classroom before the students arrived.
=> Two connected events: Event #1 The teacher entered, Event #2 The students arrived.


The teacher entered the classroom before the students arrived.
=> Two events connected by 'before'; 'had' is not necessary, but, it's preferred by some.


I know what you mean by that 'been' implies 'existed'. At first, I thought it as a simple past meaning of 'is'.

"Get lost, Mr. Been." 8)


Am I close to you now, Miss. Sushi? :D :D :D :D :D
 

Wai_Wai

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
[modified]

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 NOT 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 STILL there.
 

Wai_Wai

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Casiopea said:
blacknomi said:
But it seems like we are on the wrong track. The teacher was not there if we have to use past perfect. :? :cry: :roll:

Not necessarily. It's the participle "been" that makes it so. It means, existed (i.e., was no longer there). :wink:

Correct me if wrong.
Past participle doesn't mean "things was once true, but it was no longer true".

Eg:
- I had finished my homework before my mum returned home.
(Based on your idea, it would mean I had finished my homework at one time. But after my mum returned, I no longer finished my homework)

It appears to me "past participle" itself simply focuses on the completion of something. Things may continue to happen or not.
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
blacknomi said:
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. :oops: 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? :oops: By the way, the robber could still be in the apartment :twisted: ; We don't know.

blacknomi said:
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. :shock:

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.)
 

blacknomi

Key Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
Wai_Wai said:
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.


:up:
 

blacknomi

Key Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
Casiopea said:
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? :oops: By the way, the robber could still be in the apartment :twisted: ; 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

:lol:
 
S

Sam-F

Guest
blacknomi said:
Sam-F said:
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? :lol:

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.
 

Wai_Wai

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Sam-F said:
blacknomi said:
Sam-F said:
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? :lol:

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.
 

blacknomi

Key Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
Wai_Wai said:
> 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) :lol:
 
S

Sam-F

Guest
Wai_Wai said:
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/pastperfectcontinuous.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/durrus/153/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
 

blacknomi

Key Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
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 :up:



Blacknomi :D
 

blacknomi

Key Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
Sam-F said:
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. :shock:


Can I just use 'published' here?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top