Grammar Tenses

Dear teacher,
All are incorrect, aren’t they? Please help me.
" Susan…as a nurse for 3 years before her marriage."
a. has worked
b. has been working
c. worked
d. is working

Thanks very much.


The important thing to remember is the sequence or order of tenses or times.

Susan has worked as a nurse for 3 years is fine because we are describing the period from then to now and the tense is Present Perfect.

If you want to describe two times - one before and one after, you need two tenses. So we have:

Susan worked as a nurse for 3 years. (First time)

Susan got married. (Second time)

Both the above are in the Past Simple when they are separate sentences but when we put them together with the conjunction before/after, we have to show the two times with two different tenses:

Susan had worked (Past Perfect) as a nurse before she got(Past Simple) married (her marriage).

After Susan had worked as a nurse for 3 years, she got married.

Hope this helps.


Dear teacher,
Your explanation is perfectly clear. But, but in my work I have only to choose one in four choices. Which one is better or all are incorrect?
Please have a look at it again. Thanks.

Hi Mlngvt,

If you have to make a choice, option C seems the most acceptable.


Thank you, teacher.
You are very kind.