He had been watching her progress vs. He had watched her progress with interest

Hi all,

“Last week, the chairman called Bev into his office. He told her he’d been watching her progress with interest.” About the previous sentence, can I also say “He told her he had watched her progress with interest”?

Thanks in advance. Cheerio


I’m not a native speaker, but I think you can’t say your second sentence without changing the meaning.

To me, “he told her he had watched her progress with interest” implies that at the time of telling he no longer watched her progress, whereas the original sentence implies that he was still watching her progress at the time of telling.

The pronunciation of progress is important. Is iy PROGress or is it proGRESS? If it is pronounced one way, it’s a verb, and the other way, it’s a noun.

If he is watching the progress that she has made, it’s one thing; if he’s watching her as she makes progress, it’s something else.

Given male behavior, I imagine he was watching her as she was making progress.

can I also say “He told her he had watched her progress with interest”? Sure. It’s much less likely to result in a complaint to HR than admitting he found her body appealing.

I’m not the author of the sentence, but I think it’s a sure bet that “progress” was used as a noun (‘PROgress’)

He had been watching(past perfect progressive)

-He had watched(past perfect) Not a progressive tense.

The first one indicates, that (the action started in the past and continued but stopped in the past within some space of time).

The latter means it just went on back in the past, and wasn’t continous.

Base on this, there is no way the two constructions could be equal.

I think, is ken.