simple past,future and past perfect tense

Hi everybody,

Please check the following sentences,

#1. During the summer vacations, I went to Mexico.
#2. During the summer vacations, I will go to Mexico.

#3 The software had been activated until/ till 2011
#4 The software had been activating until/till 2011

Thank you

They are all okay. I presume you realise that they carry different meanings.

  1. The software was authorised/working until/ till 2011.
  2. The software was authorised/working by 2011.
  3. The software had been authorised/working by 2011.

Please let me know which of these three sentences are correct ones and explain the difference in meaning.


You have six sentences, not three, as you cannot substitute ‘activated’ for ‘working’. They have different meanings.
In terms of ‘working’:

  1. It was working until this point in the past.
  2. This is when it started working.
  3. An unusual choice of tense, but possible to mean that it was working by this point and wasn’t working in the same way at a later point.

In terms of ‘authorised’:

  1. It was unauthorised after this point.
  2. It became authorised before this time.
  3. It was authorised by this point (when followed by reference to another time).

I know
“1. It had worked before you came.” is OK.

Is also OK
“2. It worked before you came.” ? Thanks

I disagree that (1) is correct.
I would say
‘It worked before you came’
‘It was working before you came.’

Could you explain why the following sentence is wrong?
“It had worked before you came.”
Normally past event and recent past event are separated by past perfect and past tense.
That is why I am confused.

Hi Allifathima,

This sounds fine to me:

meaning that the ‘working’ took place first and then ‘your coming’ followed afterwards.

An improvement would be: It had been working, if you are referring to a machine of some kind in contrast to something that had been successful.


I know that Alan has indicated that it ‘sound fine’ but in answer to your question, for me, I think it sounds really awkward and unnatural. The use of the perfect form adds nothing to ‘it worked before you came’ or ‘it was working before you came’ as the use of ‘before’ clearly indicates the order of events.
I agree, however, that ‘it had been working…’ is an improvement.

Why do you always have to cap everything? You make your point and I make my point, surely it can just lie there? You are beginning to sound a bit like Sir Oracle:

Am I not allowed to clarify my standpoint (particularly where your later comments might be seen as contradicting what I’ve said)?

Who’s talking about ‘allowing’? And as for ‘contradicting’ I have to remind you this is an open forum and we all voice our opinions. This isn’t a school, you know. You seem unable to accept another point of view.

You seem unable to accept mine!
It seems that I ‘have to remind you’ that ‘discussion’ involves a right to reply.
You are determined to drag things down with more subtly barbed personal comments, I see. I won’t sink to the same level.

Back to your usual response of tit for tat by using the very words back that I have used. Why on earth do you talk in this quasi legalistic fashion with comments like ‘right to reply’ ‘clarifying your standpoint’ and the like? What’s the matter with you? For goodness’ sake open your mind and stop reacting in this absurd manner. What’s all this nonsense about ‘dragging things down’ and ‘sinking to the same level’? I make the odd crack now and again because your selfrighteous attitude warrants it. There have been occasions when you have given wrong information on grammar and I have attempted to put that right by trying to explain the issue in an alternative reply to a question. On those occasions you let the matter go. When I presume to posit an alternative interpretation, you get in a frenzy as if anyone should dare suggest something different from what you have said. Just do me a favour and don’t if you intend to reply to my comments, regurgitate a garbled version of what I have just said. Alternatively read it and digest it in silence.

Perhaps you should calm down.

Glad you have read my message and I hope you will bear it in mind.

I guess you missed the point completely.
I’m not surprised.

Glad you have read my message.