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This is a sentence from H. Potter book, p 154, the philosopher's Stone:

Even Ron would tell anyone who'd listen about the time he'd almost hit a glider.

I understand that I can also put it in simple past tense without a change in the meaning:

Even Ron would tell anyone who'd listen about the time he almost hit a glider.

I was wondering if I'm right.

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    I assume the repeated who is an error! Dec 28, 2021 at 9:48

1 Answer 1

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Yes, Rowling has backshifted the reported speech to the past perfect. That is very natural when reporting an action that occurred in the past of a past tense narrative.

But there is practically no difference in using the past tense here.

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  • OMG. so it's a reported speech. I always miss this part ! Dec 28, 2021 at 9:24
  • So syntactically speaking, I should definitely use past perfect. Dec 28, 2021 at 9:29
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    Both are correct English. Stylistically, perhaps past perfect is better.
    – James K
    Dec 28, 2021 at 9:42

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