"The student told us she believed it was pre-planned. The accused's daughter had also come to the police station with her. She told us her father had done something unbelievable and must be punished," the investigating officer of the case told TOI.

Why was the past perfect tense used in the second sentence ?

Can we replace it with the following sentence?

The accused's daughter also came to the police station with her .

Link for above article


  • Either she was told that her father....* or **she said that her father - presumably the former! Jul 8, 2018 at 11:23
  • Can you please provide a link to the article that this text came from? It seems unusual to use past perfect within text that is within quotation marks. I wonder whether I am missing something that would be made clear by reading the entire article.
    – JavaLatte
    Jul 8, 2018 at 12:40
  • I have shared link
    – user4084
    Jul 8, 2018 at 12:57
  • I corrected your quote. You had added some words that weren't in the article and incorrectly copied a few other things. Jul 8, 2018 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


The Times of India is quoting something that they were told by the investigating officer, presumably some sort of police officer.

The investigating officer first tells TOI what the student told the police. This statement is told in normal past tense. Then he tells TOI what the accused's daughter told the police. This statement is also told in normal past tense. In between those two statements, the investigating officer felt the need to explain how the daughter came to be at the police station. As he was now relating something that had happened before the statements had been made, the investigation officer fell back to the past perfect tense.

The past perfect tense is often used to indicate that an event that occurred in the past happened before some other event that happened in the past. So the use of this tense tells us that the order of events is:

1/ The accused's daughter came to the police station with the student, then

2/ The daughter and the student made a report to the police.

Presumably, the student and the daughter were interviewed separately, but we cannot tell form what is written if they both made statements at the same time, or one made a report before the other.

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