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I found a question and an answer from an exercise. It is as follows:

Q. The earrings had been in ………… before he noticed.

A. pawn

I'd like to know whether "were in pawn" should be used without using "had been in pawn".

  • Could you clarify what "noticed" means? Does it mean "he realized it" or "he received some notice (it was in pawn)" or ??? Sorry I can't follow the logic. – user3169 Dec 16 '17 at 1:11
  • @user3169. I'd like to know whether "the earrings were in pawn" should be used without using "the earrings had been in pawn". – thein lwin Dec 16 '17 at 1:26
3

The idiom is correct.

The rest of the sentence is dubious.

One of these work better:

  • The earrings had been in pawn for some time before he noticed.
  • The earrings were in pawn before he noticed.
  • The earrings had (already) been pawned before he noticed.
  • The earrings had been put in pawn before he noticed.
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    Exactly. I wonder why I am downvoted! – CinCout Dec 15 '17 at 9:24
  • They can at least post an answer in such cases. Helps to understand if I am wrong. – CinCout Dec 15 '17 at 9:30
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It is correct.

Had been in pawn here refers to the fact that the earrings were left as security deposit in exchange for money until he noticed them.

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  • I think It is incorrect to use 'had been in pawn' in past perfect tense. – thein lwin Dec 15 '17 at 8:27
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    And why do you think so? – CinCout Dec 15 '17 at 8:27
  • I think it should be simple past, 'were in pawn'. – thein lwin Dec 15 '17 at 8:30
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    The sentence is not a standalone sentence. – thein lwin Dec 15 '17 at 8:34
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    Let us continue this discussion in chat. – thein lwin Dec 15 '17 at 8:51

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