It is usually a rule that if two actions happened in the past, it may be necessary to show which action happened earlier than the other. The simple past is used in one clause and the past perfect in the other.

When I reached the station the train had started.

But if both of the actions happened at the same moment i.e. if I say

The train started when I reached the station.

When I reached the station, the train started.

Is this incorrect?

1 Answer 1


The use of when with both in the simple present indicates that they happened at approximately the same time, and you have used them correctly if that is your intention.

  • But can I say. When his son came of age, he entered into partnership with him. In this case both of the tenses used are in simple past Apr 30, 2019 at 20:05

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