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Past perfect / since

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Past perfect / since
Message from pavca posted on 04-09-2013 at 11:03:17 (D | E | F)
Hello, I'd like to ask you for help:

Isn't there a mistake in the following sentence?
He HADN'T TAUGHT (not teach) French since 2002 when he was asked to do so. (PAST PERFECT)
: SINCE 2002 can mean HE DOESN'T TEACH also in 2013, so I've used HE HASN'T TAUGHT since 2002...(PRESENT PERFECT - which was said to be a wrong answer),
the same example was in another sentence of this test:
They HAVE BEEN living (live) in Australia SINCE 1989. = PRESENT PERFECT continuous tense (here it was correct)
Thank you for your help.
pavca

-------------------
Edited by lucile83 on 04-09-2013 11:52


Re: Past perfect / since from passenger75, posted on 04-09-2013 at 11:58:59 (D | E)
Hello,
I was taught that we use past perfect when some action is done before another in the past.So in that example says when he was asked and we should use past perfect.
This could be the progress:
------#-----+
# is preceding in time and is past perfect.
+ is following the first one and is past simple.
Hope it helps.

-------------------
Edited by passenger75 on 04-09-2013 11:59



Re: Past perfect / since from nick, posted on 04-09-2013 at 12:20:32 (D | E)
Hello,

In your sentence you have to consider that 'he was asked' is your starting point, so teaching or not occurred before he was asked. So you have to go backwards and use the past perfect.
Look at the next example: He had travelled all over the world when he was 15.
15 years old is your starting point and you consider something happening before.
Whereas 'they have been living in... since 1989' the present perfect continuous insists on '24 years in that country!'. The present perfect continuous insists on the 'action' whereas the present prefect on the results:
Look: I have been writing letters this morning, so you insist on your action. You have been busy writing letters this morning and nothing else.
But if you want to insist on your 'results', you would say: 'I have written 10 letters this morning': look here they are, I wasn't sleeping, I have worked and the result: 10 letters.

Hope it helps a bit, but don't worry it takes time before the penny drops !

Nick



Re: Past perfect / since from pavca, posted on 08-09-2013 at 15:29:00 (D | E)
Hello

Thank you so much for your help.
To tell the truth I was rather confused at first.
I think I’ve got it now:
It is the sequences of tenses that makes it: but the since should be replaced by till...
In present tense it could be written:
He didn’t teach till 2002 when he is asked to do so.
Then you can inform anybody that:
He hadn’t taught French till 2002 when he was asked to do so.
Thank you
pavca

-------------------
Edited by lucile83 on 08-09-2013 15:38
No capital letters please.



Re: Past perfect / since from lucile83, posted on 08-09-2013 at 15:47:02 (D | E)
Hello,

He didn’t teach till 2002 when he is asked to do so.
should be:
He didn’t teach till 2002 when he was asked to do so.

The original sentence is quite correct
He hadn't taught French since 2002 when he was asked to do so.
Why do you want to change it?
Of course we can always find another way to say something.



Re: Past perfect / since from pavca, posted on 08-09-2013 at 16:37:05 (D | E)
Hello,
I am not English, but SINCE 2002 could mean or just means in this sentence:
He stopped teaching in 2002,
SINCE shows to the coming moments or am I mistaken?
It isn’t necessary to win the argument, I appreciate your anxiety to help us when we are not sure what it is in English.
Good luck



Re: Past perfect / since from lucile83, posted on 08-09-2013 at 18:26:28 (D | E)
Hello,

He hadn't taught French since 2002 when he was asked to do so
= he didn't start teaching French in 2002 when he was asked to do so.



Re: Past perfect / since from notrepere, posted on 08-09-2013 at 21:41:26 (D | E)
Hello

The sentence is very convoluted and shows the reason why it's important to have the actions in the correct order. The past perfect generally refers to an action that happens BEFORE ANOTHER ACTION in the past.
"since" implies that it is AFTER 2002. But "when he was asked to do so" can be understood to mean either:
1) He was asked to start teaching in 2002
2) He was asked to start teaching after 2002 but he hadn't taught since 2002

So, putting the actions in the correct order, it would make more sense to say:
When he was asked to teach French (sometime after 2002), he hadn't taught it since 2002.
This is my opinion anyway.



Re: Past perfect / since from traviskidd, posted on 09-09-2013 at 00:36:19 (D | E)
Hello.

I have to agree with notrepere; this sentence is strange indeed.

The best I can make of it, is that the setting of the sentence must be some year X after 2002 but before now, and in that year X, someone could have said "He hasn't taught French since 2002, when he was asked to do so." In other words, he taught French in 2002, because he was asked to do so, but didn't teach French between 2002 and X.

Also possible is notrepere's second option, namely that he was asked to teach French in the year X (maybe he accepted, maybe he refused) after not having taught it between 2002 and X. This option is less likely to me because of the placement of the "when" clause after "2002".

On the other hand, if "when" really referred to 2002, there would likely be a comma between them. So in the end I agree with notrepere's assessment: word order is important, and even if a sentence is grammatically correct and technically expresses the desired meaning, it is always better to choose a mode of expression that is less likely to result in confusion.

See you.



Re: Past perfect / since from pavca, posted on 09-09-2013 at 12:42:07 (D | E)
Thank you very much for your effort
and merci to French speaking assistants.
Good luck
pavca




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