When we use or have the word "before" in our sentence, can we use Past Simple instead or Past Perfect?

  • Yesterday I went to Michael's but before that I (had) visited Jenny.
  • Yesterday I (had) visited Jenny before I went to Michael's.
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    The guiding principle FumbleFingers has provided is that don't use past perfect unless you really have to. So perfect tense is not required since it's clear which action had taken place before another. – user178049 May 16 '17 at 7:57
  • I've upvoted user178049's answer (and by default, FumbleFingers's principle), but personally, I do like to (over)use past perfect to make things more clear (it just sounds better in my head). This being said, the above is clear-enough with just past simple. – Teacher KSHuang May 16 '17 at 8:02
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    @TeacherKSHuang The latter. I wasn't thinking of whether it should be Michael's place or house or whatever, or Michael himself. – SovereignSun May 16 '17 at 8:47
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    Once you put in the "had", I am expecting additional information regarding something else that happened. – user3169 May 16 '17 at 18:53
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    Also, just re-reading the examples now, I would feel like the second one would require both to be past perfect if the first one is, i.e., if we want to say, "Yesterday I had visited Jenny"... I feel like we would need to say, "...before I had gone to Michael's." Perhaps not "need to say," but I feel like the whole thing would sound more smooth. – Teacher KSHuang May 18 '17 at 7:26

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