0

My friend (let's say he's named Joe) is telling me how he spent time at a birthday party. Two days later I want to talk about that to my other friend (let's say Ryan). What's the right way?

Joe told me how he spent time at a birthday party.

or

He told me how he had spent time at a birthday party.

I, personally, think that the second example is correct because birthday had been before he told me about it.

0

Joe told me how he spent time at the birthday party.

If you are telling Ryan about this event and only this event then you use the simple past tense.

Joe told me how he had spent time at the birthday party, then at the beach, and how he finally made it home that morning.

If you are telling Ryan about all these events together then you need to use past perfect tense, since it a series of events that occurred in the past.

An useful blog post about when to use past-perfect tense

2
  • I think the distinction you have ascribed is a result of listing several events, not the tense. To me, the sentence makes just as much sense without “had.” Disagree. Oct 18 '20 at 23:49
  • I did not understand your comment. What do you disagree with? Not using "had" or using "had". Your comment is contradictory. Oct 19 '20 at 7:35

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.