I saw this question in the book "English Grammar in Use, Fifth Edition" by Louise Hashemi on page 13, the question is:

"I ... (go) quite fast, but luckily I ... (manage) to stop in time".

The answer I have in my mind is :

I was going quite fast, but luckily I had managed to stop in time.

But the answer given was:

I was going quite fast, but luckily I managed to stop in time.

What mistake did I make?

  • 1
    After has/had, the verb is always in the past tense (managed) not the present tense (manage). But the correct answer required the simple past tense, not the past perfect. Aug 14 at 14:28
  • @RonaldSole Thats very helpful, thanks. So "...,but luckily I had managed to stop in time" is also correct? Are they interchangeable compare to the answer given by the book? Aug 14 at 14:44
  • 1
    Jack, when two events occurred in the past and one happened earlier than the other, you generally use past perfect to talk about the event that happened the earliest among the two past events. In here two two events were "going fast" and "manage to stop". The later event can never be prior to the first event. Aug 14 at 14:53

The mistake is that "had managed" is in the past perfect, and past perfect always refers to a time before the simple past.

In your example, the simple past time is "I was going quite fast...".

"I had managed to stop in time" means you managed to stop before you were going quite fast, which is nonsense. You cannot have managed to stop before going quite fast.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .