The young prince had a slender body smeared with sandal cream which had dried out;

I understand that the incident is the narration of something that had happened. So "simple past - had a slender body smeared with sandal cream" is used. Now, the confusion is about "had dried out"

The prince has sandal cream already applied which is now dried out at the time when the incident was observed by the narrator. What tense should be used for "dried out?" Is "had dried out correct?"

1 Answer 1


Yes, “had dried out” is correct (depending on the context, of course). For example:

  • On Monday, the sandal cream was applied.
  • On Tuesday, the sandal cream dried out.
  • On Wednesday, the young prince had a slender body.

If the sentence describes the situation on Wednesday, then simple past is correct for “had a slender body” and past perfect is correct for “had dried out”.

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