Is the use of past perfect is correct in below sentence?

Just Now (2 Min back) she had called me. She was saying....

Scenario is I received call from my friend and I want to inform about this call to my another friend should I say as above? I just wanted to emphasis on completed action of her i.e. calling.

2 Answers 2


It's grammatical, and possible, but doesn't really fit in this context.

When you use the past perfect here "she had called me", you are setting the temporal focus to a time before now but after she called: this is unlikely if she only called two minutes ago (though not impossible).

But following it with "she was saying" means that the temporal focus is during her call, which is inconsistent with the use of the past perfect.

I (British English speaker) would say "She's just called me. She was saying ... " i.e. the present perfect, because the event clearly has present relevance, since I'm immediately talking about it. But many people would say "She just called me" (simple past), which to me sounds American.

  • As a fellow BrE speaker ... it's possible to use this phrasing, but only if you were relating a story in which a funny thing happened, while you were still on the phone (for example: She'd just called me, and [while we were talking] … she was saying that she never heard from [X], and right then, who should ring my doorbell?) Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 15:03

It doesn't sound natural to me.

The sentence structure, with Past Perfect and Simple Past, indicates that the action in Past Perfect (her calling you) was completed before the action in Simple Past (her saying something) began.

Now, whether this is true or not depends on the understanding of the word to call - in the context of communicating by phone, it can be understood as either initiating a conversation, or having a conversation. I think most people would lean towards interpreting "she called me" as "we had an entire conversation, from picking up the phone to hanging up", and as such, get the wrong idea about your sentence - that the entire call occurred before she spoke.

To me, you don't seem to need to emphasize that she called you (i.e. initiated a call) before she spoke, and if you just say:

She called me just now. She was saying...

no one is going to be confused about the ordering of the actions.

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