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Which one of these is grammatically correct?

When she was making dinner, her husband came home.

When she had made dinner, her husband came home.

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1 Answer 1

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I think they are both grammatically correct. The first example is better than the second example, but you probably wouldn't say either sentence because the word "When" isn't specific enough to communicate the intent.

In the first example, "While" is a better word to indicate that she was in the process of making dinner when her husband came home.

While she was making dinner, her husband came home.

In the second example, "After" is a better word to indicate that she had finished making dinner when her husband came home.

After she had made dinner, her husband came home.

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  • Of course the second could also be interpreted as: “She had long since given up making dinner. When she had made dinner, her husband came home, but now he was known to stay out sometimes until the early morning.”
    – Jim
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 4:52
  • @Jim Then it would be “her husband had come home,” I think.
    – Xanne
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 6:24
  • @Xanne - I think it works either way.
    – Jim
    Commented Aug 23, 2021 at 6:26

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