We all agreed from the get-go that we were not going to parody- as Lou had for 20 years.

Why "had" past simple: does it mean that the reformation of the group came before the duration was over,before Lou stopped to parody(as like a synonymous of while)

or does the author did not want to emphasize the duration ( this part of the sentence was not very important) I think this the right explaination

  • 2
    Actually, it can be read as: as Lou had [done] for 20 years. A native speaker "fills that in".
    – Lambie
    Mar 1, 2020 at 16:45
  • ok this kind of "structure", does it happen often? In which other cases can you do the same ?
    – Yves Lefol
    Mar 1, 2020 at 21:45
  • It is not past simple: it is past perfect, with the auxiliary (had) acting as a pro-verb. Do is often used in this way; other auxiliaries are less common, but do occur.
    – Colin Fine
    Dec 11, 2020 at 15:19
  • It doesn't make any sense if you read "had" as the simple past tense - if it was past tense it would require an object, either following, or taken from earlier in the sentence, but there's no noun phrase that would fit. Instead, as a pro-verb it substitutes for a verb phrase which you can easily find.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 18 at 10:16

1 Answer 1

  • We loved the game as she had [loved the game] in the past.

    • We admired the players as we also had [admired them] in the past.

    • We played piano this year as they had [played piano] last year.

    • We were saying so just then as we had been [saying so] all along.

I'm too tired to formulate an actual rule as I usually do in this forum.

Repetition of the main verb is often avoided after as since the auxiliary works just fine.

Here is a general reference on non-repetition of the main verb.

non-repetition or ellipsis of the main verb

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