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I'm having some difficulty identifying the grammar mistake in this sentence:

"The basketball coach had stood and watched his team all morning before he gave his advice."

My theory is that 'had stood' needs to be changed to 'had been standing'. Is this true? why/why not?

closed as off-topic by MetaEd Nov 3 '17 at 20:14

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  • Well, it had the tag "Homework" but not sure why Laurel felt the need to edit that out. I know for a fact there is a mistake, but not what it is. – javanewbie Nov 3 '17 at 18:50
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    Then I'm afraid I have bad news for you: there is no mistake. – tchrist Nov 3 '17 at 18:51
  • Hmm, if so ... Does the sentence sound funny? Is there a more "correct" way to phrase the sentence? – javanewbie Nov 3 '17 at 18:58
  • Is there a wider context that makes you think a perfect tense is appropriate here? – BillJ Nov 3 '17 at 19:18
  • Unfortunately, no. This is all I'm given. – javanewbie Nov 3 '17 at 19:20
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First, if you change "had stood" to "had been standing", then you could also change "and watched" to "and watching".

Next, consider changing "had stood" to the simple "stood". Nothing changes meaning in any of these versions because the temporal adverbial "all morning" overrides any aspect. The original sentence is not grammatically 'wrong', but the use of perfect aspect is superfluous.

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