+0

I have made up the sentences below.

(1a) I have been away for a few weeks. I came back this morning. (correct)

(1b) I was away for a few weeks. I came back this morning.

(2a) I have been away for a few weeks. I came back yesterday.

(2b) I was away for a few weeks. I came back yesterday. (correct)

(3a) I have been away for a few weeks. I just came back. (correct)

(3b) I was away for a few weeks. I just came back.

My non-native English speaking friends told me which ones were correct, which I marked down in brackets. They think you have to use the simple past in (2b) because if your return happened yesterday or before that, "was" would be the correct tense.

I think either tense in ALL of my sentences is okay. Could you please tell me which tense is correct in each pair of sentences? Thank you.

+0

(1a) I have been away for a few weeks. I came back this morning. (correct)

(1b) I was away for a few weeks. I came back this morning.

(2a) I have been away for a few weeks. I came back yesterday.

(2b) I was away for a few weeks. I came back yesterday. (correct)

(3a) I have been away for a few weeks. I just came back. (correct)

(3b) I was away for a few weeks. I just came back.


You can use all of these. However, I speak from the point of view of an American. We would not notice the very slight differences (or very slight mistakes, if you want to call them that) in those not marked correct. In fact, if we said any of those in the UK, I don't think people there would find them horribly wrong. Nevertheless, it might be instructive if someone British would also comment on those.

CJ

Comments  
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
CalifJim

(1a) I have been away for a few weeks. I came back this morning. (correct)

(1b) I was away for a few weeks. I came back this morning.

(2a) I have been away for a few weeks. I came back yesterday.

(2b) I was away for a few weeks. I came back yesterday. (correct)

(3a) I have been away for a few weeks. I just came back. (correct)

(3b) I was away for a few weeks. I just came back.


You can use all of these. However, I speak from the point of view of an American. We would not notice the very slight differences (or very slight mistakes, if you want to call them that) in those not marked correct. In fact, if we said any of those in the UK, I don't think people there would find them horribly wrong. Nevertheless, it might be instructive if someone British would also comment on those.

CJ

Reading OP's thread made me have a question that's not related to grammar. If someone said "I was away for a few weeks etc." or "I've been away for a few weeks etc.", would people in reality think that he was in prison?

In prison? I don't know about others, but I didn't think of that at all.

CJ

CalifJim

In prison? I don't know about others, but I didn't think of that at all.

CJ

In prison or jail. Thank you for the answer.

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?