My situation looks like this: I have just come home from my first trip to London. My friend asks me about it straight away. I want to start the description of my trip with a sentence like this: "You know I had always wanted to visit that city."

I think that past perfect is the correct choice here since I had wanted to go there before I left for the UK for the 1st time and now I don't because obviously I already have been to the city.

Right or wrong?

  • Sounds fine, but why not try a contraction? "You know I'd always wanted to visit that city." Aug 21, 2017 at 21:30
  • 1
    The biggest problem with "right or wrong" questions is there's not much to say besides "right" or "wrong" (in this case, "right").
    – J.R.
    Aug 21, 2017 at 21:32
  • i wouldn't use present perfect in this scenario then, right?
    – slovakgirl
    Aug 21, 2017 at 21:35
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    @slovakgirl You're correct, but if you had used present perfect, nobody would really care. It's all good Aug 21, 2017 at 21:43
  • I had always wanted to visit that city [before I actually visited it recently]. Versus: we are in London: I have always wanted to visit this city. Whereas if you are not in London and use the present perfect, it means you have not yet actually visited London. And you would have to say: I've always wanted to visit that city. See?
    – Lambie
    Aug 21, 2017 at 21:49

1 Answer 1


Right :)

Your analysis was correct, there's not much else to say. But as A. Galloway has pointed out, not many people would actually notice the difference.

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