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viral patel

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Hello tutor, I have recently joined this platform and i am very much glad to learn here. I have a question for following scenario.

scenario 1 : I am returning from my office. I reach my home. I open the door and instantly notice that someone was in my home in my absence. I want to call my friend and tell what has happened? which tense(s) are appropriate?

1) Somebody had been in my home when i was at office. (past perfect)

2) It looks like somebody has been in my home.

3) somebody has been being in my home. ( present perfect continuous in the case of stopped action/ recently stopped action. and i can see the evidence of the presence)

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you.

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In my opinion:

1. Somebody was being in my home when I was at office (past continuous instead of past perfect because two action are simultaneously occurring, additional I used passive voice as the person is not known, somebody).

2. It looks like somebody is in my home ( present simple instead of present perfect, based on your scenario 1, as there is no time frame to show continuity).

3. Firstly, we mustn't use 'being' after 'be' since it sounds awkward. Therefore, somebody was in my home, would be more appropriate.

In all the three circumstances I used 'past simple' instead of 'present simple' as past simple is more appropriate for your scenario 1.

I have posted the above as far as my knowledge. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


Hari Kiran 

Edited by Chary
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  • Head Tutor

Thank you, Viral, for posting the question, and Hari, for answering.

Let me just refine what Hari has said:

1. As Hari says, because of 'when', the two actions are simultaneous, and therefore, there's no need for Past Perfect. However, Hari, be careful, we cannot use 'was being' here, because we're using 'be' as a main verb in its actual meaning and in the Active voice So: Somebody WAS here when I WAS at the office.

2. This sentence is correct because 'It looks like ...' is about the present moment, and because there's no reference to a particular past time in the sentence, we can use the Present Perfect.

3. As Hari says, we cannot say 'been being'. Viral, please watch my latest exclusive video lesson called 'When we can use 'being'.

So, the two options are:

It looks like somebody has been in my home.
Somebody was in my home when I was at the office.

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