San
Lv 5

By the time?

By the time he arrived at the interview, ...

A. ... he began to panic.

B. ... he was beginning to panic.

C. ... he had begun to panic.

Is sentence A the only grammatically incorrect sentence? Thanks!

10 Answers

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  • John
    Lv 4
    4 weeks ago
    Favourite answer

     By the time is a phrase that has two different usage. 

    ① It means a definite moment, like the conjunction-when. For example:By the time war was over , death and suffering were to be seen everywhere. By the time I handed in my paper, I began to be worried about the results of the examination. Like the sentence you listed here, because only one person is engaged in the whole activity so that it is more likely to let the listeners or readers feel this usage.

    ②By the time can also means "until then".  For instance:By the time l got to the railway station,the train had already left. By the time we graduated from school, my father had already worked in this factory for 20 years. Let me guess, by the time we finish our homework, my mother will have watched TV for 3 hours. 

    It totally depends on what you wanna to express.This phrase is quite flexible, so you can use the past participle to describe the whole thing (If the subject is only one person). 

    You can also use it to describe two things that occurred one after one. 

    Therefore, I think sentence A is correct and sentence B is also appropriate, because these two tenses works both for the verb "begin". 

  • bill
    Lv 4
    3 weeks ago

    C  is best for me.

  • 3 weeks ago

    By the time he arrived at the interview, he was beginning to panic.

    Answer choice:B. ... he was beginning to panic.

  • 3 weeks ago

    A is certainly not possible with "By the time". You could say, "As he arrived at the interview he began to panic", but not "By the time".

    Using "By the time" means the action had already started, before he "arrived". So either B or C would work, but a British person would choose C: "By the time he arrived he had begun to panic".

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  • RP
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Any of the three could be correct.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    The more usual construction would be C,

    B would also be acceptable. 

    A would only really work with: As he arrived at the interview he began to panic, where the two events are more or less concurrent.

  • D50
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    In America, you might hear any of these, also "...he was panicking" or "...he started to panic". They would all be understood to mean the same thing and none of them would make the listener think the speaker was stupid.

  • John P
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Definitely not A.  B is most likely. C might be heard.

    I write from Britain. Await answers from Americans etc.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Yes, "by" here implies a point  time.He didn't begin to panic till he arrived the interview but the moment he reached the interview place , he felt panicking.S, either past perfect or past continuous tense is to be used here and B. and C . fulfills this.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Yes, A is incorrect.

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