3

past simple

He went for a week, so he took only hand luggage

past perfect

He went for a week, so he had taken only hand luggage (the first action- had taken luggage; the second one- went)

3
  • 2
    It's meaningless to talk about which "came first" out of going for a week and taking hand luggage. The choice of simple past or past perfect really depends on the full narrative context. Is it necessary to emphasise that going with only hand luggage preceded whatever that narrative is primarily focused on? If so, you might consider He had gone for a week..., but as a general rule you probably want to avoid Past Perfect if possible. It's not as necessary as many learners seem to think. – FumbleFingers Mar 24 '17 at 12:58
  • As an aside, luggage is a mass or non-count noun; you can't have "a luggage". You could say "one piece of luggage", though. – stangdon Mar 24 '17 at 14:53
  • We use the past perfect if we want to talk about things that happened before this time. The last part: "..., so he had taken only hand luggage" happened before "He went for a week,...". So I think you can use: "He went for a week, so he had taken only hand luggage" – Renan Mar 29 '17 at 17:13
2

He went for a week, so he took only hand luggage

is a perfectly good and understandable sentence.

Also perfectly acceptable are

He had gone for a week, so he took only hand luggage.

if you use

had only taken hand luggage.

it will have more of an emphasis meaning "he didn't take much luggage", and might be used as an explanation for contrast

He went for a week, so he had only taken hand luggage (and not his surfboard).

Eventhough "had taken" might be considered to occur before the "went for a week" usually understanding of the situation (one packs before one travels) does not make the distinction mandatory.

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