As he ___ his report last Friday, Andrew is able to help his colleagues this week.

(A) already submitted

(B) had already submitted

The correct answer is already submitted to put into the blank, the explanation says because of giving exactly the time point(last Friday).

But I think had already submitted is better because the phrase more emphasizes the action of submitting completely done, therefore making Andrew helping others become possible.


It's the use of the word already that is pertinent in this question.

The choice between past simple and past perfect is often optional but not always.

Omitting already it would be more natural to write:

As he submitted his report last Friday, Andrew.....

But already generally requires the present perfect or past perfect.

I have already done the work

and NOT: I already did the work


I had already completed the work before she arrived.

The same applies in your example.

So you are correct to conclude that the sentence should read:

As he had already submitted his report....

  • Thanks, this question and explanation are from a Japanese exercise book, and I also asked my Chinese friends about it, base on the Chinese high school lesson, the trick is if seeing time point, pick the past simple as the answer in the exam... – JustWe Mar 8 '18 at 1:16
  • @Jiu The guidance you refer to is simply wrong; See the previous Stack Exchange answer on this point: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/36967/… – Ronald Sole Mar 8 '18 at 9:13
  • Got it, feel pathetic about Chinese&Japanese English education. – JustWe Mar 8 '18 at 9:22

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.