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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 9:37 am
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Can someone help with the following question, please?

Those men ______ about their health reports just now.

1 - was talking.
2 - is talking
3 - are talking
4 - were talking

DS1 chose "3", but the supposedly right answer is "4". Can this be right?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:08 pm 
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"just now" implies a past tense hence "were talking" as opposed to "now" which would need "are talking".


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:14 pm 
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Thanks hermanmunster

Just shows how tricky verb tenses can be. I will never get them. :oops:

Happy New Year to everyone.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:15 pm 
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A very ambiguous question! The dictionary definition of "just now" is "at this moment", "a little while ago" or "very soon"! (I don't think I have ever heard the 3rd definition used though.)

Hopefully there would be no such ambiguity on the real paper.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:19 pm 
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Definately 4. If you say it to yourself No3 doesn't sound quite right. "Just now" implies action has gone and was in past hence "were".

Good luck - used to find tenses quite hard until one particular job which involved writing very formal English which had to be reviewed by a very pedantic boss! :lol: :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:33 pm 
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Ah, but what about "The Directors are discussing the Annual Report just now"?

I would use the expression "right now" to imply current and present, but "just now" does the job too.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:35 am 
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In my previous life of shoulder pads and high heels I would have been told that "just now" was too colloquial! :lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:30 pm 
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Sally-Anne wrote:
A very ambiguous question! The dictionary definition of "just now" is "at this moment", "a little while ago" or "very soon"! (I don't think I have ever heard the 3rd definition used though.)

Hopefully there would be no such ambiguity on the real paper.


My father, a former junior school teacher in the 60s, 70s and 80s handed me a few mixed grammar questions' worksheets, The above question was from a worksheet (from the 60s) for children of 7-8 years. :shock:

I will look to see what the 8-9 worksheet has in store. :wink:


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