2

I did my homework and met an offer.

He felt tired because he had worked a lot.

why I have to use 'had' if I can say that:

He felt tired because he worked a lot.
  • You don't have to. Either is fine. It just depends on what you're trying to say. – Jason Bassford Apr 22 at 16:53
  • Okay. What is the difference with using “had” and without it? – Сотни Личностей Apr 22 at 17:06
  • 2
    I would use these differently as follows: "He felt tired because he had worked a lot" could mean e.g. he worked 80 (or whatever) hours in the last 2 weeks so now he's tired. "He felt tired because he worked a lot" would mean something more like he works lots of hours every week, on a sort of 'ongoing' basis. – seventyeightist Apr 22 at 17:29
  • 2
    His working a lot is anterior to his feeling tired, so the past perfect is appropriate.. – BillJ Apr 22 at 17:35
2

Both sentences are grammatical, but they are typically interpreted differently.

He felt tired because he had worked a lot.

This means that he was tired because of a particular event in the past. It's referring to a certain incident, or span of time, that made him tired. (Generally in contrast to him not being tired.)

He felt tired because he worked a lot.

This means that he was generally tired because he had a habit of working a lot. It's something that occurred regularly. Rather than being tired on a specific day after pulling an all-nighter, for instance (where the addition of had is more appropriate), he always worked a lot and was always tired.


Which tense you use is determined by which of those senses you are trying to convey.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.