[Grammar] "How long" with past continuous and perfect continuous

edmondjanet

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Dear all.
I am always confused in past tense.

How long were you working in the Gulf? or
How long had you been working in the Gulf?

I was working in the Gulf from 2006 to 2010.
I had been working in the Gulf from 2006 to 2010.

I was working in the Gulf since 2000.
I had been working in the Gulf since 2000.
Thank you
Edmond
 
Last edited:

teechar

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I note that you haven't included the past simple in the above. ;-)

Some examples:

How long did you work in the Gulf?
I worked in the Gulf from 2006 to 2010.

How long were you working in the Gulf?
I was working in the Gulf from 2006 to 2010.

How long had you been working in the Gulf before you moved back to the US?
I had been working in the Gulf from 2006 to 2010, and then I returned to the US.
I had been working in the Gulf since 2006, before moving back to the US in 2010.

 

edmondjanet

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I didn't have any doubt about simple past.
Thank you
 

Tdol

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OK, but why would you say How long were you working in the Gulf rather than the simple past? We use different forms to create meanings.
 

teechar

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It can be used to focus on details (duration in this case).
 
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