In the following sentences, which of the expressions in bold is correcet? Why is the other one not correct? How does the meaning change with each one?

My parents got engaged in 1990. They had fallen in love two years before, while they were working/had been working in London?

Thank you :)

  • They are both grammatical. But why do you think that one isn't? Mar 13, 2019 at 20:30
  • became engaged is more elegant, or even: were engaged.
    – Lambie
    Aug 11, 2019 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


In this case, the correct answer is "were working" because you used the conjunction "while". "Had been working" would imply that they were working in London and when they had fallen in love and then they started working.

Please see the following link. It explains that Past perfect continuous describes a continuous past tense event that happened BEFORE another. You are saying that two past tense actions are occurring at the same time- falling in love and working.

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