The girls were pretty wild. They stayed at my house and they had bought cocaine the night before. I woke up the morning and they were still awake

I don't see the necessity of past perfect here as the night before is stated which means the night before they stayed it is crystal clear.

May be if it was bought we could think that both events took place the night before, that is the only explication I can find

2 Answers 2


It is natural to use past perfect in this context.

Here we have a narrative, and the narrator is describing a particular night a which someone was at his house, and later in the narration; he then describes the morning after. Time moves forward in the narration. But in the middle of this he wants to mention events that occured before the particular night. This is out of order.

It would be possible to have used the simple past, and it wouldn't have been confusing. However, describing events that happened before a particular time in the past is the function of the past perfect, so it is natural to use it.

  • The simplest answer is: they bought the cocaine prior to staying the night.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 22:10

You can either use the Past Perfect or the Past Simple since you've included "before".

But don't forget that "simple is better"

  • I know that but why did the author choose past perfect in this case? Is it because of a risk of confusing times or may be buying cocaine has been a recurrent action xxxx has done for a long time . There must be a reason.
    – Yves Lefol
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 16:31
  • @user5577 It wouldn't be confusing with Past Simple, so it was simply his choice. Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 16:41

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