The example below is from a grammar guide

This glass is cracked. ~ So it is. I hadn't noticed.

Why not "I haven't noticed"? - Present Perfect, as it is something he hasn't noticed until the moment the other one said "It is cracked".

Or that can be just "I didn't notice" - Simple Past.

Can anyone explain why?

  • 3
    By the time of the remark, the speaker has finally noticed. He hadn't noticed until now, but now he has, because you pointed it out.
    – Chaim
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 22:01
  • @Raj33 Beware, the answer below which you commented on is incorrect. Chaim's comment above is spot on.
    – TypeIA
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


Sentences using Past perfect should end with a reference to another point of time in the past. For example, I hadn't noticed it earlier or before. Then it would have been correct.

Not using the Present perfect or Simple present tense may indicate that the writer wants to relate his noticing the glass cracked to a past time.

Nonetheless, I would suppose that the sentence is incorrect or incomplete. Where did u read it?

  • In a grammar guide. But that's for a different subject.
    – Raj 33
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 15:53
  • I agree with the Past Perfect explanation. But can you explain why it is wrong to use with Present Perfect and Simple Past?
    – Raj 33
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 15:59
  • 1
    I would hesitate to question the authenticity of the Grammar guide but, nonetheless I would say that a reference to a past event is must when using past perfect. Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 15:59
  • "I haven't noticed it yet" & "Oh sorry, I didn't notice that"???
    – Raj 33
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 16:01
  • 1
    Simple past can be taken into consideration, but then it would depict that the author didn't notice it earlier, and now he is narrating this scene in the Present. The point is still there; he wants to state the scenario of noticing as of something of the Past. Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 16:18

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