amazinanian's picture

Dear Ellajeanlin,
There are a lot of useful sites that can help, as an examle please go to following site:           * He was talking on the phone when I arrived.    * When she called, he had already eaten lunch.    * I washed the dishes when my daughter fell asleep.    * We'll go to lunch when you come to visit.    'When' means 'at that moment, at that time, etc.'. Notice the different tenses used in relationship to the clause beginning with when. It is important to remember that 'when' takes either the simple past OR the present - the dependent clause changes tense in relation to the 'when' clause.Before         * We will finish before he arrives.    * She (had) left before I telephoned.    'Before' means 'before that moment'. It is important to remember that 'before' takes either the simple past OR the present.After         * We will finish after he comes.    * She ate after I (had) left.    'After' means 'after that moment'. It is important to remember that 'after' takes the present for future events and the past OR past perfect for past events.While, as         * She began cooking while I was finishing my homework.    * As I was finishing my homework, she began cooking.    'While' and 'as' mean 'during that time'. 'While' and 'as' are both usually used with the past continuous because the meaning of 'during that time' which indicates an action in progess.By the time         * By the time he finished, I had cooked dinner.    * We will have finished our homework by the time they arrive.    'By the time' expresses the idea that one event has been completed before another. It is important to notice the use of the past perfect for past events and future perfect for future events in the main clause. This is because of the idea of something happening up to another point in time.Until, till         * We waited until he finished his homework.    * I'll wait till you finish.    'Until' and 'till' express 'up to that time'. We use either the simple present or simple past with 'until' and 'till'. 'Till' is usually only used in spoken English.Since         * I have played tennis since I was a young boy.    'Since' means 'from that time'. We use the present perfect (continuous) with 'since'. 'Since' can also be used with a specific point in time.As soon as         * He will let us know as soon as he decides (or as soon as he has decided).    'As soon as' means 'when something happens - immediately afterwards'. 'As soon as' is very similar to 'when' it emphasizes that the event will occur immediately after the other. We usually use the simple present for future events, although present perfect can also be used.Whenever, every time         * Whenever he comes, we go to have lunch at "Dick's".    * We take a hike every time he visits.    'Whenever' and 'every time' mean 'each time something happens'. We use the simple present (or the simple past in the past) because 'whenever' and 'every time' express habitual action.The first, second, third, fourth etc., next, last time         * The first time I went to New York, I was intimidated by the city.    * I saw Jack the last time I went to San Francisco.    * The second time I played tennis, I began to have fun.    The first, second, third, fourth etc., next, last time means 'that specific time'. We can use these forms to be more specific about which time of a number of times something happened.
Hope it helps 
Best wishes.
A Mazinanian

Betty0408's picture

Hi folks,
I have a dilemma - feel a bit confused about using past perfect after "until" in time clauses. I had been quite sure of the patterns in time clause by the time I saw the sentence -
"The baby was crying until they had given her a toy."
Is this pattern really the only one that is right?
Is the sentence -
"The baby had been crying until they gave her a toy" really wrong?
Or - are they both correct? If yes,so what is the difference between them in meaning? Which one sounds more natural to natives?
I have studied a lot of grammar books but still do not have a clear explanation.
Thanks a lot.

cas1blue's picture

The second sentence is correct.  The giving of the toy is the completed action in the past (past simple) the crying happened prior to this ..... so .........past perfect simple.I have always used past simple after until in this type of clause. It certainly sounds right!Hope this helps,Carla   

jvl narasimha rao's picture
jvl narasimha rao

Dear Betty, I think the first sentence "the baby had been crying until they had given a toy " is wrong because past perfect always refers to the first activity if two activities happened in the past. To me only the second sentence "the boy had been weeping until they gave her a toy" seems to be right because the act of giving a toy happened while the boy was weeping.Simple past refers to the second activity under such circumstances. I am not a great grammarian but as a teacher, trainer and resource person in English, I think, only the second sentence is right. I am very happy if some scholar comes out with some other explanation or endorse my opinion. yours sincerely, JVL NARASIMHA RAO ANDHRAPRADESH INDIA