But before that I <had been> a trainee / and I <was> a trainee before that


Senior Member
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.

Sample sentences:

1. I worked as a surgeon in 2000. But before that I had been a trainee.

2. I worked as a surgeon in 2000, and I was a trainee before that.


Does the position of the words "before that" affect the choice of tense? Have I used the correct tenses?

Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Both word orders work but there is no need for "had been", a simpler "was" is fine. This is because the sequence is established by the rest of the sentence..
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