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Adv./modifiers (yet, still), conj. (before, by, by the time, when, until) in past perfect sentences

Hello, could you please help me with the following sentences. I would like to find out if the usage of the time adverbs/modifiers, conjunctions are correct in these past perfect sentences. What changes could you suggest if the usage is not correct?

  1. She was tired. She had been travelling to from the country side to the city every day for years.
  2. He was tired because he had gone to sleep very late yesterday **/ **last night **/ **the night before.
  3. When she came home, I hadn't been to the shop yet.
  4. When you called me this morning, I **still **hadn't done anything for school.
  5. She **still **hadn’t had her breakfast because she had been busy playing computer games.
  6. He had been playing computer games for two hours **before **/ **by **noon.
  7. He had been playing computer games for two hours **before **/ **by **lunch time.
  8. How long had she been waiting **when **the taxi arrived?
  9. I’d already prepared lunch **when **she got home.
  10. **When **she was twenty, she had already been to Australia three times
  11. She had already been to Australia three times by the time she was twenty.
  12. He had been watching the serial online recently **/ **lately. That was the fifth episode he saw yesterday.
  13. He had been playing computer games since yearly morning **until **parents came back home.

Thank you.


  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭


    1. OK
    2. It depends the reference time when he was tired. The most likely adverbial is the night before.
    3. OK
    4. OK
    5. OK
    6. Both are possible — with different meanings.
    7. Both are possible — with different meanings.
    8. OK
    9. OK — although with two possible meanings.
    10. OK
    11. OK
    12. I can't understand why you use the PAST PERFECT.
    13. Until is impossible, I think. You could possibly write when. Yearly is not the same as early.

    Many of these sentences would be better without PAST PERFECT. The ones that work are when you're describing a background in the main clause and establishing a definite time in a when clause.

    I wrote this before I answered your other PAST PERFECT question. But I forgot to post it.
    So now i can add some comments of reference points in PAST TIME.

    I'll make a new post ...

  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭

    I'll make a new post ...

    1. From point of view of the speaker/writer

      • if the reference point is earlier today then the bed-time was yesterday or last night
      • if the reference point is before today then the bed-time was the night beforet
    2. The sentence makes sense only if a previous sentence establishes the reference point of the time that she was tired. The word still makes sense only if that reference time was unusually late in the morning — long after her usual breakfast time.

  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭

    To continue ...

    1. Two different reference points

      • noonby is OK at the start of the sentence
        By noon he'd been playing computer games for two hours.

      • later then noonbefore
        This makes sense if we're describing the consequence. For example:
        He was rather tired that afternoon because he'd been playing computer games for two hours before noon.

    2. The same as 6.

  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭

    Finally ...

    1. Two different reference points
      • the time that she got home — i.e. lunch preparation was earlier
      • after she got home — i.e. you waited until she came home and then made lunch but then something else happened
        Suddenly we realised that we were both hungry. This was easily fixed. I'd already prepared lunch when she got home. But then we'd put aside all thoughts of eating.
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