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 Jan 16 '18 at 22:01
  • @Raj33 Beware, the answer below which you commented on is incorrect. Chaim's comment above is spot on. – TypeIA Oct 22 '19 at 10:07

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 Jan 16 '18 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 Jan 16 '18 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. – Haritdeep Singh Jan 16 '18 at 15:59
  • "I haven't noticed it yet" & "Oh sorry, I didn't notice that"??? – Raj 33 Jan 16 '18 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. – Haritdeep Singh Jan 16 '18 at 16:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.