I have looked everywhere but can't find a clear answer to this question. I found this site:https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/6372/when-is-the-past-perfect-exactly-needed that says:

The past perfect is optional [i.e. may be replaced by past simple] only when talking about an action at a specific time.

My sentence is 'The girl who had walked her dog is my sister Claire'

Can I omit 'had' and make the sentence 'The girl who walked her dog is my sister Claire' but is it correct to use either with 'to be' in the same sentence.

I can only find information on using 'had' and 'to have' in the same sentence from this site: https://www.really-learn-english.com/had-have-in-the-same-sentence.html

Grammatically, you can combine HAD and HAVE when making a verb in the present perfect verb tense.

For example:

"I have had lunch already," which means you already ate your lunch before now.

But no matter how much I search I can't find examples of past perfect and present tense in the same sentence.

Can someone please point me in the right direction?

  • 1
    It is possible to conceive of contexts that justify various verb constructions in the relative clause of your sentence: 'The girl who {walks/walked/had walked/was walking/had been walking/will walk/...} her dog is my sister Claire." The present tense of "to be" in the matrix clause does not determine the verb in the subordinate (relative) clause. Without knowing the context of your sentence it is not possible to say which verb construction is to be preferred.
    – Shoe
    Jul 8 at 7:50
  • You won't find an answer to your question because you are making a mistake. The two verbs in this sentence do not depend on each other. They modify their own clauses. If you diagram the sentence you will see this. Jul 8 at 8:24

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