You failed 9 subjects before you graduated from college.

I read up that its necessary for this to become "you had failed" since there are 2 past tense verbs, and because the "had" gives context that failing the 9 subjects happened before graduating.

But!! I can already completely understand the sentence without the necessary "had". I don't see any other interpretation other than "failed 9 subjects" happens before "you graduated", as that is a logical flow of events, and because there is already a "before".

  • 2
    No, you don't have to use the past perfect. It all depends on context. Jan 28, 2021 at 9:26
  • ahh, alright thanks, I understand, but can I ask what context would require the had to be necessary? Jan 28, 2021 at 14:36
  • You would use had to discuss a series of events in the past, and to emphasize that this one came first. That would place it in the past perfect tense. It can also sound a bit more formal. Jan 28, 2021 at 15:22


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