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ESL forum > Ask for help > at which point x by which time    

at which point x by which time



mari_18cf
Brazil

at which point x by which time
 
I�m having trouble understanding the difference between �at which point� and �by which time�.
 
Some context:
 
 when things finish (until, by the time..., etc.):
Fotini wrote and phoned for three months, at which point she lost patience.
She was determined to fight on until she got some satisfaction. (this is ok)
She finally contacted a solicitor, by which time the hotel had closed down.
 
 
 
 
Question 1: What�s the difference between these expressions?
 
Question 2: What verb tenses can I use with both expressions.
 
Thanks in advance. 
 

24 Jun 2020      



redcamarocruiser
United States

Some context:

when things finish (until, by the time..., etc.):

Fotini wrote and phoned for three months, at which point she lost patience.

She was determined to fight on until she got some satisfaction. (this is ok)

She finally contacted a solicitor, by which time the hotel had closed down.


 at which point means then at that moment, at that point in time.

by which time means by then by that time

 Question 1: What�s the difference between these expressions?

The difference is at which point is defining a specific (point in) time.

Whereas by which time is giving the end of a period of elapsed time.

 Question 2: What verb tenses can I use with both expressions.

For at which point they used simple past, matching the simple past 

actions that preceded the losing patience (like a list of actions: 

she wrote, phoned, and lost patience). You cannot use had lost patience

because the losing patience just happened. Had lost patience 

would mean that the patience had been lost earlier, but it was not

 lost earlier. You must use had closed down with by which time

because the closing down happened before the solicitor was contacted.

 
 

24 Jun 2020     



mari_18cf
Brazil

Perfect answer! I loved the picture!
 
Thanks a million! 

25 Jun 2020     



mari_18cf
Brazil

There is this other sentence in this book:
 
I played tennis from three until six, by which time I was exhausted
 
Shouldn t it be I had been exhausted?
So that means the person got exhausted at six?
Shouldnt it be at which point then? 
 
Thanks in advance. 

25 Jun 2020     



mari_18cf
Brazil

Perfect answer! I loved the picture!
 
Thanks a million! 

25 Jun 2020     



redcamarocruiser
United States

Verb tenses are hard. When we are describing what happened 
it is like a narrative. We are reporting the facts like in a newspaper.
We use the simple past to report.  
 
 

26 Jun 2020     



yanogator
United States

Mary, your answers are excellent, but I think on this last one, Mari was thinking that "exhausted" was being used as a past participle, rather than an adjective, so the past perfect made sense.
 
Mari,
In that sentence, "exhausted" is being used as an adjective, so the simple past works. If it had been a past participle, as in "...by that time my energy had been exhausted", then "had been" would be correct.
 
Bruce 

28 Jun 2020     



mari_18cf
Brazil

Thanks guys. You rock!

29 Jun 2020