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Well, I have a sentence that confuses me a little bit because I don't know which tense would be the best in this case.

Here's the sentence:

When I woke up I realized that I had overslept. As it turned out my alarm didn't go off.

Or the same sentence but with the Past Perfect.

When I woke up I realized that I had overslept. As it turned out my alarm hadn't gone off.

I know that we use the Past Perfect when we want to indicate that an event took place before another event in the past. But wouldn't that be correct to use Past Simple in this case? At least in conversation?

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I think both are fine in conversation. Your alarm presumably should have gone off before you woke up, so the past perfect makes sense. But the simple past tense also sounds ok - maybe because the alarm didn't go off either before you woke up or afterwards. Not sure if that is actually the reason why it sounds ok, but both tenses work here.

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When I woke up I realized that I had overslept. As it turned out my alarm didn't go off.

This is very slightly wrong. When didn't it go off? There are three times mentioned:

  1. The time when your alarm was supposed to go off.
  2. The time when you actually woke up.
  3. The time when you realized what had happened, "as it turned out".

The right answer is (1) — but that point is never the "present" in your sentences. This is the standard use-case for a perfect tense. When you woke up, your alarm had already not gone off; when you understood the problem, it still had not gone off.

Conversationally, people will accept "didn't" here without noticing — in part because if you were late, you would say, "The alarm didn't go off" as an explanation — but it's not 100% correct.

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