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Let's say I was cooking for breakfast, what is the difference between:

My mom had warned me to be careful when using knives then I accidentally cut my finger with a knife.

Vs.

My mom warned me beforehand to be careful when using knives then I accidentally cut my finger with a knife.

*What I'm trying to say is event1 (mom's warning) happened first, and then event2 (cut) played out.

Are they both the same in context? If yes, then why do we have to use sentence1 ( specifically "had"), if sentence2 is effective enough then right?

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They're both legitimate ways of saying the same thing. The first would be considered the 'standard' pluperfect/past perfect form in English. Using the word 'beforehand' achieves the same end, but might be considered a less concise and straightforward way of expressing yourself. But there's nothing grammatically wrong with it.

In the sentence you are using, you don't even need to use the pluperfect at all. You can say:

My mom warned me to be careful when using knives. Then I accidentally cut my finger with one.

The use of the word 'then' already makes it clear that the second event followed the first.

In contrast, in a sentence like

I accidentally cut my finger with a knife, but my mom had warned me to be careful when using them.

the pluperfect is needed because without it you don't have anything indicating the order of events.

(By the way, the only correction I would make to either sentence is in adding either a full stop or a semi-colon before 'then'.)

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