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sol
another Grammar question

Could you please tell me why 'was not' is used in the following sentence? I'd prefer to use the Past Perfect tense:

..in the cities by the sea peope are used to spending the summer sunbathing. They were sirprised when they saw snow covering the city. It WAS NOT long before social media became loaded with pics of white fields and roads, and snowmen.'


I would say '...it HAD NOT BEEN long before socail media....'. What would native speakers use?

Mar 28, 2018 8:23 PM
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Comments · 4
Sol, the past simple is the narrative or story telling tense. In other words if events are in order it is the main tense. The past perfect is used to jump back to an earlier time period. So did the photographers manage to snap the snow before it arrived? If they took the photos after the snow had covered the ground then why use past perfect??
March 28, 2018

'It wasn't long before....' is, for the most part, a fixed phrase/expression in English.

If i'm wrong on that part then 'was not' is generally used here by native speakers because past perfect is used to order two events chronologically, and make clear one event happened before the other. In the example it is explicit from 'before'what happened when

March 28, 2018
got it! thanks, Graham. 'The phrase is the idiom and it means 'right after' another action / an instant action which immediately follows another action. Just an idiom. I simply didn't know it. Thanks for the perfect illustration.
March 30, 2018
thanks a lot for the prompt reply, Gavin!
March 28, 2018
sol
Language Skills
English, Italian, Russian
Learning Language
English, Italian