have no way to spend the energy

ridgemao

Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin
Hello:

We took a long time to drive home, my daughter felt bored in the car. When we arrived home and she got out of the car, she found the opportunity to spend her energy, she started to run and jump excitedly. She had been having no way to spend her energy for a long time while she was in the car. (She couldn't spend her energy for a long time)

Do you have other better ways to express the sentence in bold?

Thanks.
 
Last edited:
  • ridgemao

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mandarin
    Yes. Where did you find the sentence?
    I composed the sentence by myself. Maybe I can change my question a little bit, which sentence to you prefer:

    1, She had been having no way to spend her energy for a long time. (Past Perfect Progressive)
    2, She couldn't spend her energy for a long time. (Simple Past)

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited:

    tepatria

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    "She had been having no way to spend her energy for a long time..." I would say that she was expending her energy. "She'd had no way of expending her energy for a long time."
     

    ridgemao

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mandarin
    1, She'd had no way of expending her energy for a long time.
    Past Perfect Tense, it emphasizes what my daughter felt at the moment she got out of the car.


    2, She had been having no way of expending her energy for a long time.
    Past Perfect Progressive Tense, it emphasizes what my daughter was feeling during the long time in the car.


    3, She couldn't expend her energy for a long time.
    Simple Past Tense, it describes what my daughter felt when she was in her car.


    Can I say 2# and 3# here? Is my understanding about the tense correct?

    Thamks.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "She hadn't been able to use her pent up energy all the time she was in the car."

    I wouldn't use past perfect progressive tense with the verb "have", which seems stative here.
    The simple past tense doesn't seem to indicate what had been going on while she was in the car; in your context it sounds as though it describes what happened after she got out of the car and ran round.
     
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