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He had relocated the same day as I did after switching university. We kept in touch regularly.

Why did and not had done if both relocated the same day, same tense should be used?

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  • There could be in the wider context some other event against which his relocation is set. Looking at a sentence in isolation is not a good way to determine the reason for a particular tense choice.
    – TimR
    Dec 27, 2018 at 20:45

1 Answer 1

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"Had done" is more correct in the context, but in casual English we often substitute the simpler past tense for the past perfect unless it's really important to keep an order-of-events clear.

I agree that in this case, the author should have used the same tense for both verbs; it does read a little strangely.

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  • I don't think it reads strangely at all. It depends on the context. It's the kind of tense structure that one would use naturally, for example, when talking about a friend who had died. Had relocated would be appropriate in view of his death - and the past tense for the speaker who is reflecting on what he did. Dec 27, 2018 at 23:56
  • It reads strangely because of the verb disagreement. "He relocated the same day as I did" or "he had relocated the same day as I had" would both read fine, but the mix'n'match verb tenses are weird. Dec 28, 2018 at 5:50
  • the problem with your interpretation is that none of the character in the story are dead or will be dead
    – Yves Lefol
    Dec 28, 2018 at 8:07

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