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What is the difference in meaning between below two sentence construction?

Sentence construction 1

a) After finishing my graduation I went to US.

b) After he left, she lifted one of the suitcases and placed it on the bed.

Sentence construction 2.

a) After I had finished my graduation I went to US.

b) After had he left, she lifted one of the suitcases and placed it on the bed.

I am more confused about below sentence.

The confession, police said, came after he had led them on a day-long wild goose chase.

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When "after" is used in a sentence it is not necessary to use past perfect, because "after" makes it clear which action happened first. After I finished my graduation (first action) I went (second action) has the same meaning as after I had finished my graduation I went to the US, but the use of the past perfect looks good in written English. The same applies to "before".

He confessed to the police, after they had been chasing him all day and eventually caught him, I presume. They chased him first, then he confessed.

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The answer by anouk is correct that a past perfect form is not needed here. But there are some other problems with the sentences in the question:

  • "finishing my graduation" -- A graduation is an event, not a process, so one says "after I graduated" or "after I finished my degree" or "After my graduation", not "After I finished my graduation". One does not finish a graduation, one finishes a degree or a course or a program of study.

  • "placed it on the bed" -- this is acceptable, but "put it on the bed" is in my view more natural.

  • "below" -- In US English at least, one does not say or write: "below two sentence construction" nor "below sentence". One might write "the two constructions below" or "the sentence below", although those are a bit formal.

  • I think that's a very important information about the word graduation being an event and not a process. I'm saying that because in Portuguese is perfectly fine to say the equivalent to "after I graduated" or "after my graduation" in this kind of phrase. What would be the correct way to say that in English, meaning someone finished his studies and now he is ready to start a new chapter in his life? Please, forgive me if I wasn't able to formulate my question well. – Itamar Jun 25 at 23:18
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    @Itamar Please reread the 1st bullet in my answer. "after I graduated" or "after I finished my degree" or "After my graduation" are all fine, "After I finished my graduation" is not. One does not finish a graduation, one finishes a degree or a course or a program of study. – David Siegel Jun 25 at 23:22
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    Please, forgive me for that. Where you wrote "so one says" for some reason I read "so no one says". Maybe too much time in front of the computer screen. Thanks for making that clear to me. – Itamar Jun 25 at 23:30

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