Last time I checked the letter box the parcel did not arrive.

I think this is correct

Last time I checked the letter box the parcel had not arrived.

I think this is also correct but with the perfect construction there is a meaning of future completion (than the former sentence does not have).

Am I right to think this?

  • 4
    The first means that at the last time you checked the letter box, the parcel did not simultaneously arrive. We would not normally say this. The second is normal and usual. Nov 13, 2022 at 16:46
  • You would say. The parcel did not arrive until yesterday or the parcel had not arrived until yesteday I think the first one is better because until implies before
    – Yves Lefol
    Nov 13, 2022 at 17:01
  • 1
    @MichaelHarvey: The boot is on the other foot this time! (Your comment should be posted as an answer! :) Nov 13, 2022 at 17:18

1 Answer 1


The parcel did not arrive.- simple past

The parcel had not arrived.- past perfect

Both are correct.

The past perfect is used for the former event/action. We can use the simple past for both the actions/events.

I would use the past perfect.

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