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Example 1

She said she met her friend the previous day.

Example 2

She said she had met her friend the previous day.

Are the two different?

Is had necessary?

2 Answers 2

1

"She said" indicates that you are reporting on a conversation that happened in the past. The meeting with the friend had happened earlier than that, which is why the past perfect tense is used. So Example 2 is the correct version, though Example 1 might be used in casual conversation and would be understood.

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Yes, the two are different. The "had" form says that the two got together yesterday without any reference to other times they met. The version without "had" indicates that yesterday was the first time they met (although I would hesitate calling someone a 'friend' in that circumstance).

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