mistakenly <had been charging/ charged> her time [Simple Past vs Past Perfect Continuous]

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Senior Member
Staff mistakenly had been charging/ Charged her time to the Cost Center which is not related to the project when it should have been charged to Cost center 12345. We noticed the mistake when reviewed the financial status of each project.

Staff mistakely charged her time for a couple pay periods (from October to February) to a wrong Cost Center untill we found out that it was wrong. Once we found out that it was wrong she stopped using that Cost Center. Which grammar tense is correct with this situation. Simple past or past perfect continues tense.

Thanks for your help and time.
  • MilkyBarKid

    Senior Member
    British English
    Since someone/your company is owning up to an external agency that a mistake was made - the Simple Past Tense. The Continuous form emphasizes the action of 'charging', and as having occurred over a period of time - something not to be emphasized!:)

    Though, I prefer the syntax and style of the original !
    Last edited:

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    It obviously isn't a clear case, because I think the continuous works well as you can use it with the pluperfect to get a better sense of sequencing: that someone HAD been doing that but the we realised and put it right.

    Staff had been mistakenly charging her time to the CC. We noticed the mistake etc ...
    I agree with Milky.

    The use of past perfect continuous sounds you are providing the background before you tell the readers what happened next while past simple sounds you are recounting/relating somthing that you have to tell the readers.
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