I fail to comprehend the difference in the meaning implied by the following statements:

  1. Page had played the guitar. (Past perfect)
  2. Page was playing the guitar. (Past Progressive)
  3. Page played the guitar (Simple past)
  4. Page had been playing guitar for a long time. (Past Perfect Progressive)

Can somebody shed some light ? All appear to imply that guitar was played by Page. Is there any additional temporal information that each provides us with ?

marked as duplicate by sumelic, Xanne, Cascabel, David, Rand al'Thor Jul 3 '17 at 22:58

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  • 1
    Hello, Zoso. ELU isn't a place where the same questions are answered again and again. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 2 '17 at 16:01
  1. He had played at some time in the past.
  2. He was in the act of playing at the time being referred to.
  3. Depending on context, could mean the same as [2] or just that he knew how to play.
  4. Depending on context, either he had been in the act of playing for a long time or that he had known how to play (or habitually played) for a long time.

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