A kangaroo injured Australian politician Shane Rattenbury in the Australian capital, Canberra, on Thursday. Mr. Rattenbury was taking a morning jog in the Canberra suburb of Ainslie when the kangaroo surprised him, and in the ensuing confrontation Mr. Rattenbury was scratched several times on the leg. By Mr Rattenbury’s account, the kangaroo was an eastern grey kangaroo, which is a common species in Australia. Neither the kangaroo nor Mr. Rattenbury saw each other until they were close, when they both were surprised by each other. The kangaroo, which had been behind a hedge, then started hopping around and Rattenbury ducked for cover.

I think that it will be better to write had seen instead of saw because the action of not seeing took place before they were close , as soon as they were close enough they could see each other. There was a change

  • Did this come from a news article somewhere? If so, please cite or link to the source.
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 30, 2017 at 20:47
  • Both tenses are possible since the sequence of events is chronological; there's no special need for the past perfect here in my (NNS) opinion. Commented Nov 30, 2017 at 21:24
  • 'had seen' or 'had yet seen' could be a replacement. Different tense, but they mean the same thing in this context. Commented Nov 30, 2017 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


Either "had seen" or "saw" would be acceptable here, but I like it the way it is. There is no special focus on the situation, just a sequence of events.

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