I was asked to fill the blank below preserving the meaning of the sentence.

It was not necessary for him to take any warm clothes, so he traveled light. He ____________ take any warm clothes with him, so he traveled light.

I wrote "He hadn't needed to" what was wrong as "He didn't need to" turned out to be correct.

I used the past perfect, as I imagined it like so: PAST: he traveled; EARLIER PAST: he hadn't needed

In similar topic I've found this:

You can 'know' something at any time. You can realize something long after becoming aware of it, as 'knowing' requires a conscious thought to realize it. You can only 'notice' something when you're present, there and then, to be able to notice it.

I guess there is a similar case with "need" and "travel"? If so, is there wider explanation how to move comfortably between those verbs like "know, need" and "notice, travel" in past tenses?
This is very confusing when your native language has one past tense.


"Need" is a stative verb not an active verb. In this case there is no duration, it is just not necessary to take warm clothes. Like you know something or you don't (meaning having knowledge of), which is different from "I have known him for years".

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