had been riding

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Thomas Tompion

Senior Member
English - England
I saw this in a report today on the shocking killing of that little boy in Liverpool:

Police believe the killer, who fired three shots, was a hooded youth aged between 13 and 15 who had been riding a bicycle.

I suspect that the writer intends this to mean that the hooded youth was riding a bicycle when he fired the shots. Do people agree that this wording strictly means that he had dismounted from his bicycle, or, at least, was no longer riding it, when he fired the shots?
 
  • Trisia

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    To me, this sentence implies he was no longer riding the bicycle. He had been riding a bike, but then he stopped (or even dismounted, as you suggested) and then shot.
     

    amnariel

    Member
    Bosnia and Herzegovina - Croatian
    I would understand this as you wrote in the first sentence - that the hooded youth was riding a bicycle when he fired the shots.
     

    amnariel

    Member
    Bosnia and Herzegovina - Croatian
    bear in mind that this statement was probably taken from a police report and those are always... a bit confusing, at least in my country...
     

    The Scrivener

    Banned
    England. English
    Being informed by all news reports, the perpetrator of this heinous crime, was firing shots as he was riding his bicycle. He didn't dismount, park his bike and then fire at his targets.

    May God bless this little child and comfort his grieving parents, family and friends.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Hi there - I need help and this OLD thread has the exact title of the phrase I am looking at, though the question is at tangent.
    "he had been riding".

    CONTEXT
    I had been retired but now someone has persuaded me to do some tutorial work. I am talking to a student about how we suggest chronology with different tenses. He's a native speaker so he can write and understand these structure intuitively, but for the purposes of analysis we need to have vocabulary to label and discuss the examples.

    Sadly my old mind has gone blank or maybe I never even knew it? How do we label this (he had been riding) in a list of tenses which includes present, present continuous, past simple and, past perfect?
    Thanks
     
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