Multiple choice option [We...the car for 6 months when.....]

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sb70012

Senior Member
Azerbaijani/Persian
We …… the car for 6 months when we discovered it ……..

a)owned_stolen
b)had owned_stealing
c)had owned_was stolen
d)owned_had been stolen (Answer Key)

Hello again,

I think this test is not standard too.
Can option "c" be correct too?
What's your opinion about this test?

Source: exam sheets
Thank you.
 
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  • london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    d) is incorrect. c) is correct:

    We had owned the car for 6 months when we discovered it was stolen

    which means that you acquired a car and 6 months later you discovered that it was, in fact, a stolen car.

    This is the duration form, which requires a perfect tense with 'for' (or 'since'), so a) and d) are automatically incorrect. b) is incorrect because 'when we discovered it stealing' makes no sense whatsoever.;)
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    What's wrong with d, LC? I prefer c, but d sounds at least possible to me.
    d. We owned the car for 6 months when we discovered it had been stolen

    This is the duration form (for/since): you can only use perfect tenses with that, so 'owned' is not possible here.;) The only other construction possible here is:

    We had owned the car for 6 months when we discovered it had been stolen

    but that is not included in the options here, which is just as well because to me it means something different, i.e. we acquired a car and 6 months later we (woke up/got home/came out of the cinema) to find that someone had stolen it from us.;)
     
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    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    In my opinion "d" is correct.
    You know why I am saying this? Because of this other example which is similar to my test:

    I didn't go to school when I discovered my teacher hadn't come.

    Any other thoughts?
     
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    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    The stealing action had taken place before you wanted to own the car.

    We owned the car for 6 months when we discovered it had been stolen. = (means it had been stolen before we own it)

    We had owned the car for 6 months when we discovered it was stolen. = (means we had owned it before it got stole)

    So option "c" doesn't make sense to me. Isn't it?
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    We owned the car for 6 months when we discovered it had been/it was stolen.:confused:

    The sentence seems fine if you replace when with before.
    However, I can only make it sound ok if I write had owned (which I understand to mean it was a stolen car).
    If when means after, we have a possible, though unlikely, sentence.

    I'm not sure how to explain it in grammatical terms, though.
     
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    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    C. is the only correct sentence as far as I'm concerned.;)

    We had owned the car for 6 months when we discovered it was stolen. This does not mean 'we had owned it before it got stolen'. It means that you bought a car, not knowing it was a stolen car, and after 6 months the police (or whoever) informed you that you had acquired a stolen car.;)
     
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