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hello,

could you please explain when i use the past perfect, when i use the past perfect continuous and the simple past? I never know when i have to use each case.
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Hello Magic

1. While X, Y.

In this structure, when "while" has a temporal sense, Y takes place during X. So we can't imagine Y happening before X.

Thus sentence #2 doesn't make sense: if the reading happens before the coming, as the past perfect suggests, we can't use "while" (in a temporal sense).

So your initial instinct was correct: "While he was reading, his uncle came back" is the correct sentence.

All the best,

MrP
PemmicanThe Past Perfect Progressive is used to express an action that had been in progress (in the past) when another event in the past took place, so it expresses the background action:
While he had been reading the book, his uncle came back home.
While I had been doing my homework, it started to rain.
If I am wrong, then Pemmican is too!!!! And that is why I raised the red flag.

So is Pemmican wrong??? (no body said he was...and that is why I am Emotion: sad((((((
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Yes, I think that those examples by Penmican should have past perfect in both parts of the sentence, otherwise the "backgrounding" implemented by "while" isn't in synchronicity with the other action:

BBC NEWS | UK | Stalker had sophisticated cyber plan

He then notified the victim that while he had been browsing the internet he had come across her name in the chat room, all the while writing the information


BBC NEWS | In Depth | Tyson | Journeyman Lou gets his chance

While he had been able to withstand the blows of the ageing Foreman, he had been comprehensively destroyed by a journeyman pro. ...

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Australian Bible gets church backing

He added that while he had been paraphrasing, he had wanted to stay true to the version of history depicted in the original. ...

BBC News | UK Politics | Portillo begins comeback

Mr Portillo has insisted that "nothing of this sort" had happened while he had been in public life. He said: "When I was in public life I was dogged by ...

Thanks a lot Marius!!!

You have nailed it! It is now clear- clearer than ever before!

I am more than grateful!
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Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
HI

I WANT TO KNOW WHICH ONE IS CORRECT: WHILE HE WAS READING THE BOOK, HIS UNCLE CAME BACK.

OR

WHILE HE HAD BEEN READING THE BOOK, HIS UNCLE CAME BACK.

AND TELL ME ANY WEBSITE WHERE I COULD POST MINE QUESTIONS REAGARDING ENGLISH .................AND I CAN GET THE ANSWERS OF THOSE QUICKLY............................
Magic79
I am not a native speaker of English...but I dont think I agree with your use of the past perfect progressive!!!!!!!!

1. While he had been reading the book, his uncle came back.

past perfect progressive + simple past

What do you think of the following sentence:

a. While he was reading the book, his uncle came back home.
past contiuous + simple past



I think the timeline for both sentences is the same:

________XXXXXXXXXXXXX++++XXXXXXXXXXXX ______now___

XXXX = reading a book

++++ = came back

now = moment of speech utterance

I might be wrong after all since none of the members replied to this thread with my comment.

Hi,

Please tell me also which one is correct : while he was reading the book, his uncle came back.<<< Say it this way.

or

while he had been reading the book, his uncle came back.

PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ and tell me any web site where i coiuld post mine question regarding english and can get the answers of those quickly........................ Here.

Clive
Dreamdream,

Welcome to the forums. Make sure you click on REPLY and not on REPORT when you post. Your post when to the moderators' area. I reattached it here, but then saw that you has posted the same question anonymously. So next time, remember - REPLY.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Yes , what you all have illustrated is good but you only forget one more point to add about past perfect progressive ; it is that we used also for expressing or showing why/how an actitivity occured . for example, i was tired because i had been working all day .. also we use it for expressing how long an activity happened . i had been playing football for more than 3 hours. so all these actions happened in the past but they were continuous or took a long time when another action took place.

thanks for ur illustration Emotion: smile

hafid from morocco.
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