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had been supposed to be

English translation: should have been

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10:08 Dec 4, 2004
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: had been supposed to be
With their heads put together, they began to discuss all sort of things: why Klematis had left his schoolbag outside the day before, and how come Imogor did have his raspberries ripe in his garden, while Barkee, the Bar Keeper, did not, and which of her hats Dahlia wore the day before, and why Peony Bud, the top student among girls, was the one Hyacinth had presented yesterday with a bookmark, though Picotee ***had been supposed to be*** in her place…

I’d like to know if I use the tense here correctly. Is the Past Perfect OK, or should there be Simple Past here? I mean, which is more appropriate within the context? Or does it depend?
Or maybe it’d be better to use a simpler version - “and not Picotee”, instead of “though Picotee had been supposed to be in her place”? Please advice.

Thank you.
Andrew Vdovin
Local time: 23:53
English translation:should have been
Explanation:
This means much the same thing as "had been supposed to be" and is a more elegant way of saying it. Or perhaps "was supposed to have been". Either would work better for me than the rather awkward-sounding "had been supposed to be". Hope this is of some assistance.
Selected response from:

Rowan Morrell
New Zealand
Local time: 04:53
Grading comment
Thanks a lot for your help, Rowan. And thanks to everyone!!!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +7should have beenRowan Morrell
4 +1leave itCharlie Bavington
4 +1another commentDr Sue Levy
5 -1use past tensesevinc altincekic
3was supposed to be + questionRHELLER


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7
should have been


Explanation:
This means much the same thing as "had been supposed to be" and is a more elegant way of saying it. Or perhaps "was supposed to have been". Either would work better for me than the rather awkward-sounding "had been supposed to be". Hope this is of some assistance.

Rowan Morrell
New Zealand
Local time: 04:53
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 28
Grading comment
Thanks a lot for your help, Rowan. And thanks to everyone!!!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Syeda Tanbira Zaman
3 mins
  -> Thanks Syeda.

agree  Dr Sue Levy: good solution Rowan :-) or "when it should have been Picotee"
16 mins
  -> Yes, that could work too. Thanks Sue.

agree  Asghar Bhatti
1 hr
  -> Thanks Asghar.

agree  Charlie Bavington: with you, Sue's is good too.
3 hrs
  -> Thanks Charlie.

agree  RHELLER: this would be my first comment, but after reading all comments below, I am totally confused; is this for a final edited copy?
6 hrs
  -> I don't know, but anyway, thanks Rita.

agree  Java Cafe
7 hrs
  -> Thanks Java.

agree  vankovak
7 hrs
  -> Thanks vankovak.
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23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): -1
use past tense


Explanation:
The Simple Past Tense is often used with certain phrases of time:
yesterday, last night, last month, last year, two years ago.

And I would add your "the day before" too.
http://ro.zrsss.si/~viljenka/pastsimple.htm

So you should change: "why Klematis had left his schoolbag outside the day before" to "why Klematis left his schoolbag outside the day before" and "though Picotee ***had been supposed to be*** in her place…" to "though Picotee ***should be*** in her place…" following the recommendation of Rowan



sevinc altincekic
Local time: 19:53
Works in field
Native speaker of: Turkish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Dr Sue Levy: "should be" is not past tense - should HAVE been
1 hr

disagree  Charlie Bavington: "yesterday, we talked about what had happened last year". You could say "...about what happened last yr" but the pluperfect is better when talking in the past tense about completed events even further in the past. So I disagree that it has to be changed
3 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
another comment


Explanation:
how come Imogor did have his raspberries ripe in his garden, while Barkee, the Bar Keeper, did not,

I would replace "did have" with "had" => how come Imogor HAD ripe raspberries in his garden, while Barkee, the Bar Keeper, did not,

or: how come the raspberries in Imogor's were garden ripe, while the barkeeper Barkee's were not,

NB "how come" is colloquial expression

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs 15 mins (2004-12-04 12:23:44 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

barkeeper is one word

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs 29 mins (2004-12-04 13:37:58 GMT)
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sorry, should be \"raspberries in Imogor\'s garden were ripe\" - these words have a habit of jumping about :-)

Dr Sue Levy
Local time: 18:53
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Charlie Bavington: I thought the same about "did have". I don't think, however, we can lay down the law (!) about barkeeper, since it's obviously a slightly fantastical piece, and so Bar Keeper is in keeping (!) with that, besides it may not refer to a licenced premises!!
59 mins
  -> thanks Charlie :-)
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
leave it


Explanation:
Rowan's suggestion (or Sue's alternative) is, IMO, the most natural way to say it.
However, the whole tone of the fragment, to me, is a little child-like, and in fact, this slightly longwinded way of expressing it sounds quite natural in context, and yet remains grammatical. You could *change* it to Rowan or Sue's rendering, but there is no need to.
Do not take "child-like" to be patronising or insulting, it's not meant to be. Look at the enormous success of the book "The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Nighttime" - brilliant.

And although I 'agreed' with Sue's further suggestion regarding "did have", it too is in keeping with the child-like phrasing, and you *could* keep it. I'm not entirely sure that it is ungrammatical in pure terms, but, unlike "had been supposed to be in her place", an English speaker, even a child (after a certain age), would be highly unlikely to say "did have his raspberries ripe in his garden". But, "did have" is a good way to emphasise, so you could re-phrase that as "how come Imogor did have ripe raspeberries in his garden while Barkee....."

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Note added at 3 hrs 30 mins (2004-12-04 13:38:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

For consistency, you\'d need to change \"wore\" to \"had worn\", I think, upon reflection.

Charlie Bavington
Local time: 17:53
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  RHELLER: Hi Charlie! agree with you that this could work IF this is the desired register. Otherwise, it needs to be "should have been" and all other verbs must be in agreement
3 hrs
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
was supposed to be + question


Explanation:
now that you have enlightened us, here is my opinion:

with their heads together, (put sounds awkward to my U.S. ear)

among THE girls

although (rather than though, personal preference)

was supposed to be

big question: did have his raspberries ripe - what exactly are you referring to? the past tense would be ripen - where else would they ripen? just trying to help, Andrew :-)


RHELLER
United States
Local time: 10:53
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 66
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