2

The investigation uncovered that he had taken bribes when he was/had been governor of Maryland.

So the question is: is it when he was or when he had been?

I want to say "when he was" because it seems that we always use Past Simple with such phrases, but isn't this about the time before the investigation uncovered something??

0
1

If you begin with "had taken", then it makes sense to continue in a similar tense. Also, mainly because the state of being governor was an extended period of time (as opposed to an instant), you might want to use "while" as opposed to "when". So:

  • The investigation uncovered that he had taken bribes while he had been the governor of Maryland.

Or more clearly (with less "be"):

  • The investigation uncovered that he had taken bribes while serving as governor of Maryland.
1
  • Thanks! Yes, I realize that there are other ways of stating it, but I was specifically interested in this wording as I want to know about using Past Perfect with the 'when' clause. – Anton Andreev Apr 29 at 8:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.