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Hello,

I have read an article on reuters.com and I did not understand why the past perfect was used in this sentece/paragraph:

Papandreou and Samaras had been scrambling to reach a deal before finance ministers of euro countries meet in Brussels on Monday evening, to show that Greece is serious about taking steps needed to stave off bankruptcy.

(http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/07/us-greece-idUSL6E7M601O20111107 )

Could it be used were instead of had been? It is interesting that after past perfect is used simple present (meet) to express the future. Would it be correct to use have met instead of meet to express future?

Papandreou and Samaras were scrambling to reach a deal before finance ministers of euro countries meet/have met in Brussels on Monday evening, to show that Greece is serious about taking steps needed to stave off bankruptcy.

Papandreou and Samaras had been scrambling to reach a deal before finance ministers of euro countries meet/have met in Brussels on Monday evening, to show that Greece is serious about taking steps needed to stave off bankruptcy.

Thanks

M
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marix998Could they have used were instead of had been?
No. If you read the article you will see that an agreement was reached sometime Sunday evening, therefore "had been" is correct. If they were still scrambling at the time the article was written then "have been" would be correct.
marix998Would it be correct to use have met instead of meet to express future?
No.

The article is correct as written.
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MalRey
marix998Could they have used were instead of had been?
No. If you read the article you will see that an agreement was reached sometime Sunday evening, therefore "had been" is correct. If they were still scrambling at the time the article was written then "have been" would be correct.
marix998Would it be correct to use have met instead of meet to express future?
No.

The article is correct as written.
Hi thanks for response,

I am not saying that the article is not correct. I just want to know when (at which occasion) it would be correct to use were instead of had been...

M
marix998I just want to know when (at which occasion) it would be correct to use were instead of had been...
The way the article is written you really can't use "were."

Here is a proposed rewording that I'm not not happy with but that uses "were" correctly. I haven't looked in detail but I doubt that it fits with the context of the story after this modification.

Papandreou and Samaras were scrambling to reach a deal until just a few minutes ago. They have been under tremendous pressure to do so before the finance ministers of the euro countries meet in Brussels on Monday evening, to show that Greece is serious about taking steps needed to stave off bankruptcy.

By the way, thanks for including a link to the source. It's a tremendous help to see the sentence or paragraph in question in its full context.
MalRey
marix998I just want to know when (at which occasion) it would be correct to use were instead of had been...
The way the article is written you really can't use "were."Here is a proposed rewording that I'm not not happy with but that uses "were" correctly. I haven't looked in detail but I doubt that it fits with the context of the story after this modification.Papandreou and Samaras were scrambling to reach a deal until just a few minutes ago. They have been under tremendous pressure to do so before the finance ministers of the euro countries meet in Brussels on Monday evening, to show that Greece is serious about taking steps needed to stave off bankruptcy.

By the way, thanks for including a link to the source. It's a tremendous help to see the sentence or paragraph in question in its full context.
Thank you for your help,

I have found this:

  • He was tired because he was exercising so hard.
    This sentence emphasizes that he was tired because he was exercising at that exact moment.
  • He was tired because he had been exercising so hard.
    This sentence emphasizes that he was tired because he had been exercising over a period of time. It is possible that he was still exercising at that moment OR that he had just finished.
(http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/pastperfectcontinuous.html )

I think this is the point that you tried to explain me.

Just one another question.

Is it correct if I say?

He is tired because he had been exercising so hard.

He is tired because he was exercising so hard. / I am sure this one is correct and there is a subtle difference between them.

M
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