by the time or at the time?

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purecopper

Member
chinese
Mary had finished her homework____ the time I got home.

B: by C: at.

I think both "by" and "At" make sense, right?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "By" sounds far more likely. People would probably use "when" instead of "at the time", which is odd in that sentence.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    No. "Has finished" doesn't make sense in that sentence. The past perfect, "had finished", does: Mary had (already) finished her homework when I got home.:thumbsup: Mary had finished her homework by the time I got home.:thumbsup:
     

    purecopper

    Member
    chinese
    No. "Has finished" doesn't make sense in that sentence. The past perfect, "had finished", does: Mary had (already) finished her homework when I got home.:thumbsup: Mary had finished her homework by the time I got home.:thumbsup:
    there is my another question. let's assume now is 6 p.m and Mary mom just got into home, can I say "Mary has finished her homework when her mom got home"? Because in my thought, "has finished" means Mary finished her homework somewhere between her after school and 6 p.m.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I don't think it's a good idea to try to mix the present perfect and the simple past as you are trying to do. That mix of tenses really doesn't sound normal to me.
     
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