My phone was never on/has never been on, I (have) turned it off as soon as I (have) arrived

Jagorr

Senior Member
Russian, Belarusian
I have never been so confused by the tenses. I will gladly provide more context if you find that this is not sufficient. All of the options seem possible to me... But are they? And if they are, is there any substantial difference between them?

My phone was never on/has never been on, I (have) turned it off as soon as I (have) arrived to the country.
Today is April, 15, and I arrived on April, 10.
 
  • abluter

    Senior Member
    British English
    "My phone was never on/has never been on" are both OK, and mean more or less the same, although the "was" option could refer to a specific point of time. But the "never" after "was" makes it clear that the time was a continuous period rather than one point.
    As for the other sentence, "I turned it off etc" and "... I arrived in the country" sound better in this context . There has recently been a tendency for young people to say "I arrived to the country " or even "I arrived into the country", but I don't know where that comes from.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    1. My phone was never on, I turned it off as soon as I arrived to the country.
    2. My phone has never been on, I turned it off as soon as I arrived to the country.

    Sentence #2 implies that my phone is still not on, whereas sentence #1 doesn't have that implication. Am I right? Thanks.
     

    i am cool

    Senior Member
    American English
    1. My phone was never on, I turned it off as soon as I arrived to the country.
    2. My phone has never been on, I turned it off as soon as I arrived to the country.

    Sentence #2 implies that my phone is still not on, whereas sentence #1 doesn't have that implication. Am I right? Thanks.
    As they are, that's right.

    It's still possible that someone would say 1 instead of 2 in response to a present-tense context like "Is your phone on?"
     

    Jektor

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    I (have) turned it off as soon as I (have) arrived to in the country.
    .
    In my opinion, you need to avoid "have" in this context.
    I would use the simple past tense here to describe the two distinct actions in the past:
    "(I turned the phone off) as soon as (I arrived in the country)"
    or:
    "(I turned the phone off) as soon as (I had arrived in the country)"
    .
     
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