late arrival OR arrived late


May you tell me which one is good English?

she was late to the airport for a few minutes.
She arrived late to the airport for a few minutes.
she was late arrival to the airport for a few minutes.

Thank you.

Would you tell me which one is good English?

She was late to the airport by a few minutes.
She arrived late at the airport by a few minutes.
She was a late arrival to the airport by a few minutes.-- (This one is not very good.)

Mr.M, would you mind explaining a bit more about “by” used in the first two sentences above?

[color=darkblue]Dear Mr. Micawber, I also would like to know the usage of the phrase “by a few minutes”.
By the way, i think that this variant “She was a few minutes late to the airport” is easier and sounds more natural. What do you think?


she arrived late just few minutes

“By” is used here to express how many minutes after the right time she arrived. You could say: “I’m afraid that you cannot be a professional model, because you are too short by an inch.”

It is used when something is too big, too long, too cold, et cetera. Or not long enough, not fast enough, not cold enough, et cetera. It expresses the degree to which something is lacking or too much.

[color=green]Thanks for your enxplanation, Cerberus.

By the way, where did you get that information?


P.S. Do you mind revealing us your real name?

I just got it from thinking about how I interpret this sentence and how I would use “by” myself, so I claim no authority.

My name is Steven.

[color=green]I need your help, guys, as to the correct Tense usage. Here is the situation:
Envision me in progress of cooking and here is a dialogue between me and my husband:

Husband: Why doesn’t Sophy help you to cook?
Me: Well, [color=red]I’ve been encouraging her [color=green]to prepare meal for her daddy but she refused, stating that [color=red]she had been playing on the computer.

[color=green]How do you think, is it correct to say “I’ve been encouraging her” or “I encouraged her” in the sentence above and what about te usage of Past Perfect in “she had been playing on the computer”?

Thanx in advance and waiting for your opinion,


It depends on context: I could think up a situation where this wouldc all be possible.

But as it is, I’d say “she had been playing on the computer” seems odd. It means to me that she was playing on the computer, then stopped, then you came in to call her to the kitchen. She says no, because the fact that she has been playing on the computer - though she has already stopped playing - is a reason for her not to go to the kitchen. This might be possible if the playing gave her RSI so that her arms hurt. But, in that case, why would you leave out this information in the story? It is not self-evident.
If you just wanted to say that she was still playing at the moment you came in, you should have said so: “stating that she was (busy) playing on the computer”. Even so, it hardly seems a good excuse for a child, hehe.

“I’ve been encouraging her” I would take to mean that you have been telling her to help out more in the kitchen several times, for the last couple of days or weeks, including today. If you are talking about something that happened at a specific time in the past and that has already ended before now, you’d better use “I encouraged her”. This seems to be the most obvious choice in your story.
If you want to accent the fact that this encouraging was just a circumstance during which her refusal happened, not an action preceding her refusal in the sequence of your story, you could say “I was encouraging her” - though this is less likely to be what you meant.

[color=blue]Many thanks, Steven :slight_smile:

Dealing with Perfect Tenses in English always caused some difficulties for me. I think that Perfect Tenses usage still remains the most difficult in English Grammar.


P.S. Did you have a nice weekend?

As you are aware…the English grammar (sentence structure) revolves around the ’ VERBS '…

Verbs are of three basic kinds…namely [color=blue]Present tense verb, Past tense verb and Participle verb…

Present tense verbs are used for making sentences in Simple Present Tense…and by adding ‘will’ or ‘shall’ in front of the present tense verbs, we can make the Future Tense sentences…

Past tense verbs are used for making sentences in Simple Past Tense.

But Participle verbs are having more usage and importance in English…to make all the complicated sentences in Continuous as well as Perfect tenses…

Hi…Maryann…if you like to know more about the PARTICIPLE VERBS pls let me know…

[color=green]Thank you, Sahid.


Hi Maryann,

Very glad you like the recording device. Good to hear you.


[color=indigo]Thank you, Alan. I like it VERY MUCH! Unfortunately not everyone on this forum likes leaving recorded posts. :frowning:

For the first time I left my voice recording here it took me 5 or 7 times for my being setisfied with it. But now I can do it after 2 or 3 tries (can I say try in plural?)

Actually I think that it makes a great sense of recording own voice and hear own accent and improve it.


Hi Maryann,

‘Tries’ is fine.