Had you ever...more than X ago?

coiffe

Senior Member
USA
American English
Meijin, the use of "until" in #2 is not correct, even though the poster put a checkmark on it. It's quite convoluted and no native speaker would express himself (or herself) like that.

2. Had you ever visited Japan until more than a year ago? :cross:
 
  • meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    But 'Had you visited Japan until...' can't be a continuous activity as the former one. For continuous activity we would ask 'Had you been visiting Japan until...'.
    Yes, that's why I found "had visited + until" strange. It didn't make sense to me. To make sure my understanding of "until" is correct, I've just looked up one of the Japanese-English dictionaries I use and it says you can't say "He arrived until noon" (although this is simple past, not past perfect), because "arrive" isn't a continuous activity.

    Meijin, the use of "until" in #2 is not correct, even though the poster put a checkmark on it. It's quite convoluted and no native speaker would express himself (or herself) like that.

    2. Had you ever visited Japan until more than a year ago? :cross:
    Oh...OK. Maybe you or someone else should have told me that much earlier. :D
     

    weglang

    Member
    Native Mandarin Chinese
    Yes, that's why I found "had visited + until" strange.
    You are right! Thank you for correcting my opinion!
    1. I visited Japan until last summer.:cross:
    2. I didn't visit Japan until last summer.:tick:(implies that: I visited Japan last summer)

    3. I have been visiting Japan until last summer.:tick:

    4. I had visited Japan until last summer.:tick:or:cross:(I'm not sure)
    (Since this action cannot be reversed, #4 still sounds strange.
    Try this one then: I had visited Japan for only once until last summer.)
    5. I hadn't visited Japan until last summer.:tick:
    (How do you interpret this? Did the speaker visit Japan last summer?_?
    In my opinion, 'last summer' will be meaningless if the speaker haven't been in Japan yet.)

    We can put discontinuous verbs together with 'until' only in negative sentences.
    The perfect tense, however, should be considered continuous.
     
    Last edited:

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    A. I had visited Japan until last summer.


    B. I had visited Japan for only once until last summer.
    A. This can only work as a negative statement, because of the way we use “until”. That fixes a point of reference. Something happened “last summer”. It seems you visited then, for the first time.
    You can express this:
    A2 I had never visited Japan until last summer.

    B. There are mis-matched elements in here, so it is tricky (impossible) to suggest a single change to make it correct.
    The way I would say it is:

    B2 I had visited Japan only once before last summer.
    (So, I dropped “for” which doesn’t work with “once” and changed the time-marker from until to before. Really I’d probably do that in A2 as well.)
     

    weglang

    Member
    Native Mandarin Chinese
    This can only work as a negative statement
    Thanks a lot!
    I used to confuse 'until' with 'up to' and 'by'.
    For what I was trying to say in example #4, the proper preposition may be 'by'.
    eg. By last summer, I had visited Japan, but only once.

    Up to now, we can finally put an end to Meijin's issue at the very beginning;).
    The question should be worded better this way:
    Had you visited Japan by December 2017?
    or:
    Had you visited Japan before 2018? (which is one of his originals)
    And there's nothing to do with until.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top