A: He tried to hang himself in his basement about a month ago.
B: What?
A: Yeah. Luckily the pipes ______(1) tied the rope to __________(2) under his weight, so nothing happened.

Which of these would you insert in the dialog for it to be natural?

(1) he / he'd
(2) broke / had broken

For me, it would make sense to use 'he'd' as he had tied the the rope before it broke. And for the second, I would guess that 'broke' would be enough.

  • It's a good idea to write why you think an answer is best. So say "I think it should be "..." because ....." This way we can answer your question about English, rather than just doing an exercise for you. – James K Dec 22 '20 at 12:33
  • 5
    By the way. Who writes grammar exercises about suicide attempts!? There are lots of ways to learn about the past perfect without this. Its not the first (unrelated) question like this ell.stackexchange.com/questions/267068/… – James K Dec 22 '20 at 12:36
  • It's an example from a story I'm writing, but maybe I should have made up another example if it's too inappropriate. – bibobabu Dec 22 '20 at 12:50
  • @JamesK one who wants to make grammar exercises more fun? :) – Andrew Tobilko Dec 22 '20 at 13:07
  • I would agree with your opinion, Bibobabu. – Kate Bunting Dec 22 '20 at 14:11

Yeah, for the first one, it is correct to use 'he'd' since he had tied the rope first.
But the second blank's a little confusing. I've studied that the word 'to' is always followed by the 'base/root form' of the verb. What I guess is that, 'to' is not really required because if it's there then both of your options would be wrong.

Or did you mean like this:

Luckily, the pipes ______(1) tied the rope to , __________(2) under his weight, so nothing happened.

If that's what you meant then your choice is right i.e., 'broke' will do it. Like this:

Luckily, the pipes he'd tied the rope to, broke under his weight, so nothing happened.

  • you are not obliged to use past perfect as the first action is tying then breaking comes after – Yves Lefol Dec 22 '20 at 17:10
  • No, we should use past perfect for the first action and simple past for the second. See this – lee Jan 4 at 6:49

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