Someone next door ................... heavy metal music all night long. I didn’t get a wink of sleep.

a) was playing

b) has played          

c)had been playing          

d) has been playing

I think that 'c' is the answer but 'a' is also possible.

From one of the mock exams in Egypt.

Original Post

Hi, Rasha Assem,

Rasha Assem posted:

Someone next door ................... heavy metal music all night long. I didn’t get a wink of sleep.

a) was playing

b) has played          

c)had been playing          

d) has been playing

I think that 'c' is the answer but 'a' is also possible.

From one of the mock exams in Egypt.

DOCV, who we miss very much on this forum and hope that he is perfectly well, sees that the only correct answer here is: a) was playing.

https://thegrammarexchange.infopop.cc/topic/choose-9

Rasha Assem posted:

Someone next door ................... heavy metal music all night long. I didn’t get a wink of sleep.

a) was playing
b) has played         
c)had been playing         
d) has been playing

I think that 'c' is the answer but 'a' is also possible.

Hello, Rasha and Ahmed,

The only answer I find incorrect is (b), and even (b) isn't ungrammatical; it's just extremely unnatural and somewhat awkward. But (a), (c), and (d) are all possible. Which is used will depend partly on the context.

I am sure that DocV will agree with me. I think his attention was somewhat diverted from the grammatical question at hand in that thread. He may not have strained himself to think of alternate contexts.

Answer (a) would be used in a context in which the night in question is in the recent past and one wished to express irritation (via the past progressive) about the fact that the heavy metal music played throughout the night.

Answer (c) would be used in a narrative about in the more distant past: "I felt exhausted that day. Someone had been playing heavy metal music all night long. I didn't get a wink of sleep."

Answer (d) would naturally be used if the speaker were just getting up and it was very early in the morning and still dark: "Someone has been playing heavy metal music all night long. I didn't get a wink of sleep."

Ahmed_btm (and to this day I still have no idea what "btm" means) wrote:

DOCV, who we miss very much on this forum and hope that he is perfectly well, sees that the only correct answer here is: a) was playing.

My dear friend Ahmed, I believe you meant to write "whom we miss on this forum", and for what it's worth, the name is DocV, not DOCV.  There still appear to be formatting issues that are beyond David's control, or mine.

I apologize to you, sir, and to my dear friend David, and to Gustavo, and to certain other members.  Tara certainly comes to mind.  There are others.  I say to you all, I beg your pardon.

Some of you might need to be reminded that none of us, not I nor David nor Gustavo nor any other member, is getting paid for what we do here.  We do this because we love doing it.  I thank David for continuing to allow me to be part of this project, and I'm truly sorry that things come up from time to time that prevent me from dedicating my full attention to it.  Life happens.

David's reply to Rasha Assem is totally correct, of course.  I really should have said that I found (a) to be the "best" answer, not the "only correct" answer.  David's justifications for (c) and (d), and even (b), stand up to logic.  But I still stand by Tara's answer (a) as the most natural to my ears.

I hope to be able to resume my full-time presence on the forum soon.  Again, my apologies to all of you for my failure to be on duty.  And although I realize that this forum is supposed to be a neutral zone when it comes to religion, I would like to express my desire that a certain member of the forum, and the family of that member, be blessed.

With love to you all,

DocV

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