I really worry because I have not received my order (made on 30/10/21). I already contacted you in December for the same reason and I only got a reply in January after sending many emails .

You answered that you were going to do it or had just done it , but did not give any proof of it . So have you sent it ?There must be a tracking or a picture of the parcel

Just would like to know if I could have written had already contacted to express my annoyance .I think it could be possible even if the tense that comes after present perfect is past simple and it is written when it happened .I think choosing past simple did not give a big weight to my annoyance .

  • Tenses do not give weight to annoyance: they indicate the order in which things happened. In this case, present simple is the correct tense. This link gives some useful tips about adding emphasis to your writing thoughtco.com/achieving-emphasis-in-writing-3972773
    – JavaLatte
    Jan 29, 2022 at 7:18
  • but past perfect emphasizes the event and my event is in the past so why present?
    – Yves Lefol
    Jan 29, 2022 at 7:32
  • 4
    I think @JavaLatte meant to say simple past, present simple does not work in this situation.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 29, 2022 at 8:18
  • 1
    To express annoyance you need vocabulary, compare 1. "We disliked the movie" 2. "We hated the movie" 3. "We wasted hard earned money buying tickets for what was one of the worst movies we have ever had the misfortune to see." Which of these three sentences express the strongest disapproval?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 29, 2022 at 8:24
  • 3
    Past perfect does not emphasize the event: it places the event in the sequence of events.
    – JavaLatte
    Jan 29, 2022 at 9:57

2 Answers 2


The past perfect would be possible but not mandatory.

It is possible be cause your second sentence can be understood as describing the actions in January

I had already contacted you prior to receiving an email from you.

But since you are really just describing a sequence of events in chronological order you don't need past perfect. Simple past is fine

In December I contacted you. Then in January, I received an email.

There is no explicit "frustration" expressed by either of these.

  • Why did you cancel already? I can't write' In December I already contacted you' . Already is for me a way of expressing my annoyance to show that it is the second time I have tried to get in touch
    – Yves Lefol
    Jan 29, 2022 at 8:17
  • "I have already contacted you about this - in December - and I only got a reply in January..." Jan 29, 2022 at 9:53
  • but if you know that the time of the event belongs to the past (December) isn't it better to use past simple. I thought already can go with past simple
    – Yves Lefol
    Jan 29, 2022 at 10:07
  • "Why did you cancel already" I've written simplified sentences that show both grammatical forms are possible. You can add "already" and other modifiers as you wish. However, given the context, you probably shouldn't assume that subtle clues to your frustration will be understood. The best way to express frustration is not "already" but "I am extremely frustrated with the poor service that I have received". Remember "explicit is better than implicit" if you want to avoid being misunderstood.
    – James K
    Jan 29, 2022 at 11:49
  • but I was not extremely frustrated but more disappointed
    – Yves Lefol
    Jan 29, 2022 at 13:46

I fully agree with others who have pointed out that the past simple is correctly used here. But although your letter is perfectly intelligible with no obvious grammar mistakes, it is clear on reading it that it has been written by a non-native speaker - albeit a very good English speaker.

I know that writing advice is off-limits here, but I am happy in this instance to write the letter in a way that it might be written by a native English speaker.

How about the following:

I am now becoming most concerned that my order placed on 30/10/21 has still not been received. I contacted you about this in December and only got your reply in January, after many emails on my part.

You indicated either that you had sent it or were about to do so - though you supplied no proof. So have you sent it or haven't you? Do you have any tracking or picture evidence of the parcel, that you can let me have?

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