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dangminh
Vietnam

Ask for help
 
Hi everyone!Please help me to put the verb in the correct tense:

At the meeting, John ………………..…(not/speak) until someone…………………..(ask) him some questions.

 

14 Aug 2019      



jannabanna
France

At the meeting, John didnīt speak until someone asked him some questions. 

14 Aug 2019     



adkal
Slovakia

I would say:
At the meeting, John didn´t speak until someone had asked him some questions.

14 Aug 2019     



ldthemagicman
United Kingdom

I agree with Adkal.
 
I fact, I think that I would be even more emphatic:
 
"At the meeting, John did not speak untll someone had asked him some questions."

14 Aug 2019     



redcamarocruiser
United States

I agree with jannabanana for American usage.

14 Aug 2019     



yanogator
United States

I agree with everybody! As Mary said, Jannabannaīs answer reflects current US usage, but "had asked" is still correct in formal US English.
 
Bruce 

14 Aug 2019     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

Thank you for that kind concession, Bruce.  Itīs a pity about the US usage; something has been lost there. 
Lynne  

15 Aug 2019     



sadbird
Belarus

Am I wrong to use the verbs in the following way: Hadnīt been speaking/ asked According to the sequence of tenses first he didnīt speak and later someone asked him a question.

15 Aug 2019     



redcamarocruiser
United States

I agree with Bruce that the past perfect is used in American English. Googling turned up the hypothesis that educated Americans use the past perfect and less educated Americans substitute simple past in situations where past perfect would be more suitable. Lynne is right that something is lost when this happens. I believe that precision is lost. 🎓

15 Aug 2019     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

Thanks Bruce and Mary! Another thing I’ve noticed creeping in is this ‘I wish I would have done that’ instead of ‘I wish I had done that’ etc. I can see the logic here as you didn’t actually do it, but it still grates to hear that usage!

16 Aug 2019     



dangminh
Vietnam

Thank you for your help.

16 Aug 2019     

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