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ESL forum > Ask for help > a confusion    

a confusion


a confusion
After we had been travelling for about 45 minutes , there was still no sign of the town which was marked on the map.By this time, we had begun / began to get worried.I looked at the fuel gauge
How would you complete the sentence past simple or past perfect?
Thank you for your kind help in advance.

24 May 2010      


I īd say the right answer is "began", as its part of the main narration. Have a nice day!

24 May 2010     


I īm afraid I īll disagree with you, Ximenne. In my opinion the correct answer is:
By this time, we had begun to get worried.
"By this time" indicates that we had begun to get worried before we realised there was still no sign of the town (not after that).

24 May 2010     


I strongly disagree with you Serene! The reason of being worried is realising that there was no sign. I mean first they realised that there was no sign then they got worried.So the correct answer is ī ībegan ī ī

24 May 2010     

United Kingdom


You īve already used a past perfect (continuous) at the beginning (After we had been travelling...). I īd suggest, stylistically speaking at least, that a past continuous might be better since you īre suggesting a new progressive action kicking off (by this time, we were beginning to get worried).

24 May 2010     


Past perfect with no doubt because it says "by that time", which means that the action had started before that.

24 May 2010     


Thank you all who really try to help me in this question but maybe a native speaker can also help us make the answer clear because I think we still have disagreement.

24 May 2010     


Hello everyone,
Serene īs answer is correct.  
By that time always signals the end of an interval of time that began in the past

By the time I was 10, I had already learned to ride my bike.
When I was 10, I learned to ride my bike.

They have completely different meanings.  By the time signals a previous past time.

:) Hope that settles some things.


P.S., The sentence  "At this time, we began to feel worried" would work.

24 May 2010     

United States

I completely agree with Aileen (who agrees with Selene and Heloss) about both "by this time" and "at this time".

24 May 2010