1

Consider these two sentences:

  • Laura passed her exam because she studied very hard.
  • Laura passed her exam because she had studied very hard.

I think that the second one is correct because first, she studied then she passed her exam.

is both of this sentences correct?

what is the meaning of each sentence?

2

Both sentences are idiomatic and correct. English speakers use both constructions all the time, much of the time without giving a thought to which might be better in the context. The choice comes down to preference.

My preference is for the past perfect as it emphasises the sequence of events. First she studied hard and then she passed the exam. But it's not necessary.

If you google past tense and past perfect you will find numerous examples of the uses of these two tenses.

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