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Past perfect rule is discussed pretty often but still leaves

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Past perfect rule is discussed pretty often but still leaves [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2012, 15:24
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Past perfect rule is discussed pretty often but still leaves me confused
Here is a quesion
She PLAYED with her friends when the babysitter ARRIVED.

Can some one please tell me how is this sentense correct. Why are we not using Past Perfect here. This is an examle from MAnhuttan

As per rule it should be:
She HAD BEEN with her friends when the babysitter ARRIVED.
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Re: Use of PAst Perfect [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2012, 22:49
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kimi86 wrote:
Past perfect rule is discussed pretty often but still leaves me confused
Here is a quesion
She PLAYED with her friends when the babysitter ARRIVED.

Can some one please tell me how is this sentense correct. Why are we not using Past Perfect here. This is an examle from MAnhuttan

As per rule it should be:
She HAD BEEN with her friends when the babysitter ARRIVED.


She played with her friends when the babysitter arrived and She had been playing with her friends when the babysitter arrived are both gramatically correct. However, the meaning of each sentence is different.

The first sentence means that she started playing with her friends as soon as the babysitter arrived. For example, this sentence could be used to define a bratty kid whose strict (maybe sadistic.. :P) babysitter does not allow playing with friends. We could say something like : Jane is very defiant child. Her babysitter has instructed her not to play with her friends but she played with her friends when the babysitter arrived.

The second sentence means to convey the circumstances under which the babysitter arrived. It simply means that she had just finished playing when the babysitter arrived. We could say something like Jane's friends were leaving her home when the baby sitter arrived. So it was apparent that She had been playing with her friends when the babysitter arrived.
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Re: Use of PAst Perfect [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2013, 09:15
MacFauz wrote:
kimi86 wrote:
Past perfect rule is discussed pretty often but still leaves me confused
Here is a quesion
She PLAYED with her friends when the babysitter ARRIVED.

Can some one please tell me how is this sentense correct. Why are we not using Past Perfect here. This is an examle from MAnhuttan

As per rule it should be:
She HAD BEEN with her friends when the babysitter ARRIVED.


She played with her friends when the babysitter arrived and She had been playing with her friends when the babysitter arrived are both gramatically correct. However, the meaning of each sentence is different.

The first sentence means that she started playing with her friends as soon as the babysitter arrived. For example, this sentence could be used to define a bratty kid whose strict (maybe sadistic.. :P) babysitter does not allow playing with friends. We could say something like : Jane is very defiant child. Her babysitter has instructed her not to play with her friends but she played with her friends when the babysitter arrived.

The second sentence means to convey the circumstances under which the babysitter arrived. It simply means that she had just finished playing when the babysitter arrived. We could say something like Jane's friends were leaving her home when the baby sitter arrived. So it was apparent that She had been playing with her friends when the babysitter arrived.


Hi Mac,

As per you explanation, will you please clarify the following example. For me both A and B looks correct. If its not, will you please clarify.

1. A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities

The correct answer is A. This is from 1000 series. Why not B or D ?
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Re: Use of PAst Perfect [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2013, 09:29
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kabilank87 wrote:
MacFauz wrote:
kimi86 wrote:
Past perfect rule is discussed pretty often but still leaves me confused
Here is a quesion
She PLAYED with her friends when the babysitter ARRIVED.

Can some one please tell me how is this sentense correct. Why are we not using Past Perfect here. This is an examle from MAnhuttan

As per rule it should be:
She HAD BEEN with her friends when the babysitter ARRIVED.


She played with her friends when the babysitter arrived and She had been playing with her friends when the babysitter arrived are both gramatically correct. However, the meaning of each sentence is different.

The first sentence means that she started playing with her friends as soon as the babysitter arrived. For example, this sentence could be used to define a bratty kid whose strict (maybe sadistic.. :P) babysitter does not allow playing with friends. We could say something like : Jane is very defiant child. Her babysitter has instructed her not to play with her friends but she played with her friends when the babysitter arrived.

The second sentence means to convey the circumstances under which the babysitter arrived. It simply means that she had just finished playing when the babysitter arrived. We could say something like Jane's friends were leaving her home when the baby sitter arrived. So it was apparent that She had been playing with her friends when the babysitter arrived.


Hi Mac,

As per you explanation, will you please clarify the following example. For me both A and B looks correct. If its not, will you please clarify.

1. A 1972 agreement between Canada and the United States reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump into the Great Lakes.

(A) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities had been allowed to dump
(B) reduced the phosphate amount that municipalities had been dumping
(C) reduces the phosphate amount municipalities have been allowed to dump
(D) reduced the amount of phosphates that municipalities are allowed to dump
(E) reduces the amount of phosphates allowed for dumping by municipalities

The correct answer is A. This is from 1000 series. Why not B or D ?


Correct Answer is indeed A (had been allowed is verb whose object is "to dump")

Problem with choice B - it changes the meaning per the sentence. It shows correct past perfect tense "had been dumping" , but as per question municipalities did not dump by themselves (physically they did, but there must have a deciding force), they were "allowed" to dump (action verb)

Problem with Choice D - incorrect tense "are" means a present tense, which states a valid fact until now, however as per question - the action of dumping was allowed from sometime in the past and continued till sometime in the past , and it stopped when agreement happened - a clear past perfect tense is required

Hope this helps :)
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Re: Use of PAst Perfect [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2013, 06:12
MacFauz wrote:
kimi86 wrote:
Past perfect rule is discussed pretty often but still leaves me confused
Here is a quesion
She PLAYED with her friends when the babysitter ARRIVED.

Can some one please tell me how is this sentense correct. Why are we not using Past Perfect here. This is an examle from MAnhuttan

As per rule it should be:
She HAD BEEN with her friends when the babysitter ARRIVED.


She played with her friends when the babysitter arrived and She had been playing with her friends when the babysitter arrived are both gramatically correct. However, the meaning of each sentence is different.

The first sentence means that she started playing with her friends as soon as the babysitter arrived. For example, this sentence could be used to define a bratty kid whose strict (maybe sadistic.. :P) babysitter does not allow playing with friends. We could say something like : Jane is very defiant child. Her babysitter has instructed her not to play with her friends but she played with her friends when the babysitter arrived.

The second sentence means to convey the circumstances under which the babysitter arrived. It simply means that she had just finished playing when the babysitter arrived. We could say something like Jane's friends were leaving her home when the baby sitter arrived. So it was apparent that She had been playing with her friends when the babysitter arrived.


Hi Macfauz,

you told " She played with her friends when the babysitter arrived and She had been playing with her friends when the babysitter arrived are both grammatically correct"

What about " She had played with her friends when the babysitter arrives " is it correct ?

In that case what is the difference between "She had been playing with her friends when the babysitter arrived" and " She played with her friends when the babysitter arrived" ? Will you please explain ?
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Premium Member
Re: Use of PAst Perfect [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2013, 07:00
kabilank87 wrote:
Hi Macfauz,

you told " She played with her friends when the babysitter arrived and She had been playing with her friends when the babysitter arrived are both grammatically correct"

What about " She had played with her friends when the babysitter arrives " is it correct ?

In that case what is the difference between "She had been playing with her friends when the babysitter arrived" and " She played with her friends when the babysitter arrived" ? Will you please explain ?


IMHO, "She had played with her friends when the babysitter arrives" is not grammatically correct. "arrives" is in the future tense and "had been playing" is in the past perfect.. It would be better to say "She would have been playing with her friend when the baby sitter arrives"

The difference between the two is as per my explanation above :

MacFauz wrote:
The first sentence means that she started playing with her friends as soon as the babysitter arrived. For example, this sentence could be used to define a bratty kid whose strict (maybe sadistic.. ) babysitter does not allow playing with friends. We could say something like : Jane is very defiant child. Her babysitter has instructed her not to play with her friends but she played with her friends when the babysitter arrived.

The second sentence means to convey the circumstances under which the babysitter arrived. It simply means that she had just finished playing when the babysitter arrived. We could say something like Jane's friends were leaving her home when the baby sitter arrived. So it was apparent that She had been playing with her friends when the babysitter arrived.

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Re: Use of PAst Perfect   [#permalink] 19 Mar 2013, 07:00
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Past perfect rule is discussed pretty often but still leaves

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