past simple& past perfect in AE & BE

YueWei

Senior Member
Mandarin - China
Hi,guys.
I'm confused about a bunch of exercises.
1, I'm at station now.I'm meeting a friend who is still on the train.Unfortunately her train was/has been (1)delayed.
2,The company went out of business a couple of months after I started/had started (2)work.
3,He went to Canada a year ago. I saw/had seen (3)him a few days before he went. He was/had been (4)unemployed for months, so he decided/had decided (5)to try his
luck somewhere else. he really looked/was really looking (6)forward to going.

I guess the answers in BE would be:(1) has been (2)had started (3) had seen (4) had been (5) had decided
in AE would be:(1)was (2)started (3) saw (4)was (5)decided
and Question 6,the book says: 'was really looking' is right. But I think 'really looked' is right too, Is 'really looked' right?

I can't sleep well until I solve these problems.Could you help me.Thanks in advanced.:):)
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    (1) both possible, different meaning
    (2) both possible, past perfect unnecessary
    (3) both possible, past perfect unnecessary
    (4) had been ('was' would tell me he was planning to stay unemployed for months)
    (5) both possible, different meaning
    (6) both possible, 'was looking' is more natural

    I do not think this will be about BE vs AE...
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    I would answer them this way:
    1, I'm at station now.I'm meeting a friend who is still on the train.Unfortunately her train was/has been (1)delayed.
    2,The company went out of business a couple of months after I started/had started (2)work.
    3,He went to Canada a year ago. I saw/had seen (3)him a few days before he went. He was/had been (4)unemployed for months, so he decided/had decided (5)to try his
    luck somewhere else. he really looked/was really looking (6)forward to going.
    The verbs in the past perfect being actions that had been completed prior to the statements.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Here are my choices:

    1, I'm at the station now. I'm meeting a friend who is still on the train. Unfortunately her train has been (1)delayed.
    2,The company went out of business a couple of months after I had started (2)work.
    3,He went to Canada a year ago. I saw (3)him a few days before he went. He had been (4)unemployed for months, so he had decided (5)to try his
    luck somewhere else. he really was really looking (6)forward to going.
    Question 6,[...] I think 'really looked' is right too, Is 'really looked' right?
    No, sorry: I don't think it is.

    I see I agree with Franco-filly (post #3). :)
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Like Boozer, I don't see this as a difference between BE and AE. In most of the examples, either choice is grammatically possible, although there can be a difference in meaning between the two choices. For example, I am meeting a friend who is coming from Washington to New York by train. For some reason, the train was held at Baltimore for thirty minutes. The engineer has tried to make up some of the lost time, but the train is now expected to arrive 15 minutes later than scheduled. In that case, I would say "her train was delayed." On the other hand, if I receive a call from her while I am waiting at the station and she tells me that her train is sitting in Newark because there is a sick passenger, and the train crew is waiting for an ambulance, I would say "her train has been delayed" because the delay is continuing.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    My answers match DonnyB's even though he lives in England and I Iive in the U.S.

    YueWei, I notice that in your guesses/predictions, you have every answer different for BE and AE. I would hope our speech is not that dissimilar (and I don't believe it is).

    Now for my small confession. I would actually be fine with either answer for number 2.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    I could use either option for (1). Both also work for (2), though I would be more likely to use started. For (3) through (6) I agree with Donny and the filly.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Sorry, after re-reading, I retract my answer for 2). I would accept "after I started working there" or "after I had started working there" but neither of the originals.
     
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