mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest
Which tense? Options
Ivan Fadeev
Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 1:44:50 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2015
Posts: 1,283
Neurons: 15,703
1 I found the book yesterday. It turned out that it sat on the shelf all the time I had been looking for it.
2 I found the book yesterday. It turned out that it had sat on the shelf all the time I had been looking for it.

Is 1 wrong?
tautophile
Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 2:04:29 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/14/2018
Posts: 1,503
Neurons: 33,006
No, sentence 1 and sentence 2 are both good and grammatical, but it might be better to say that the book "was (or had been) on the shelf all the time I had been looking for it".
Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 7:23:25 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 5,942
Neurons: 1,308,216
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
The book was on the shelf the whole time.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 10:56:12 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 35,097
Neurons: 238,898
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
As you are mentioning the later past-tense action and relating the two, it sounds better to use a past perfect (to me).

I found the book yesterday. It turned out that it had sat on the shelf all the time I had been looking for it.
or
I found the book yesterday. It turned out that it had been sitting on the shelf all the time I had been looking for it.

From my viewpoint, the three times are:
The book on the shelf continually for a period - earliest, past perfect continuous.
Finding the book - later in the past, past tense.
Telling the story - now.

However, it does sound a bit long and complex.
It is more likely that someone would say something more like Wilmar says.
"I found the book yesterday - it'd been on the shelf all along!"
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.