The rumor we heard at the time was that Chris D had a bunch of Upsetter overstock of this Tooth and Nail vinyl compilations and that he'd recently carried them down to Rhino for beer money.

the first action is that he had a bunch of Upsetter overstock and that is why he carried them, so why carried is past perfect if it came after he had an overstock.

Is it because the first rumour the writer heard was "he had carried them to Rhino " and then after that he heard the reason why he brought them to Rhino : he had a bunch of upsetter overstock.

  • The sentence says that the reason he carried the overstock was to take it to Rhino for beer money—with the clear implication that he sold it. – Jason Bassford Apr 26 '19 at 16:55
  • So past perfect is here to show that the action was fully completed not to indicate which action came first – user5577 Apr 26 '19 at 17:03
  • In theory, you could describe ten different actions. It's the context that communicates the order in which things happen. (Here, it wouldn't be possible for him to carry anything down to the store unless he had them to carry down in the first place.) He had stopped on his way to the store to buy lunch. Then, he had helped an old lady across the street. You can parse the sequence of events from the context. – Jason Bassford Apr 26 '19 at 17:06

Ther is really only one action described here. Chris D had the overstock (records apparently) and took them to Rhino, to get beer money (so presumably he sold them). The rumor is that this action occurred.

The sentence is complicated by the detailed specification of the things carried and sold, not just "overstock" but "Upsetter overstock of this Tooth and Nail vinyl compilations". (By the way this should have been either "...these ... compilations..." or "...this ... compilation..." depending on whether there was one compilation, or more than one.) A skeleton of the sentence might be:

The rumor we heard was that Chris D had a bunch of X and that he'd recently carried them down to Rhino to sell.

"carried" is because this action was completed in the recent past.

  • If he had written he carried would have beven a mistake ? – user5577 Apr 26 '19 at 18:12
  • @user5577 Changing "he'd" (short for "he had" ) to just "he" technically changes the tense, but in this case makes no significant change in the meaning, and would certainly not be wrong. – David Siegel Apr 26 '19 at 18:17
  • in terms of meaning what does past perfect add here that past simple does not the emphasis – user5577 Apr 26 '19 at 20:38
  • 1
    @user5577, not much, really. It perhaps emphasizes that the tranaaction is over, but I'll bet if you read one form of the sentence to 10 native speakers, and the other form to a different 10, that they wouldn't be able to tell afterwards which form was used, nor what difference in meaning it would have made if the other form had been used – David Siegel Apr 26 '19 at 20:46
  • one last question could have the writer written the rumor we heard was That Chris D had had a bunch of X and that he recently carried them down to emphasize the fact that at the time of writing he had none left – user5577 Apr 27 '19 at 5:57

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