Before I found a job in a kindergarten, I (look after) children between the ages of one and three

angelene001

Senior Member
Polish
Before I found a job in a kindergarten, I .................. (look after) children between the ages of one and three. I really loved taking care of the little ones.

I know that I need the past perfect.

I would use the past perfect simple:
A) Before I found a job in a kindergarten, I had looked after children between the ages of one and three. I really loved taking care of the little ones.
I don't see any reason for using the past perfect continuous.

However, the key says:
B) Before I found a job in a kindergarten, I had been looking after children between the ages of one and three. I really loved taking care of the little ones.

Could you help me understand why the past perfect continuous is needed?
Or maybe both these tenses are correct.
 
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    The continuous form suggests that your looking after young children had continued until you found the new job.
    The simple past could imply that you had only looked after them at some time in the past.
     

    angelene001

    Senior Member
    Polish
    The continuous form suggests that your looking after young children had continued until you found the new job.
    The simple past could imply that you had only looked after them at some time in the past.
    The simple past could be used if I just wanted to mention what work experience I had. It means that at some point in the past I looked after children and I loved it.
    The continuous form means that I changed one job for another. I had been looking after very small children to earn some money but eventually I found the job in the kindergarten.

    Thank you.
    So both these tenses could be used depending on what we want to express.

    Is one of them a more obvious choice when you look at my example?
    Or is it hard to say what the author had in mind?
     
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