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It is a imagine, not reality

"My niece hates me.Because I did not take care of her when she was a child."

I know the sentence is acceptable in use of tense.

If I use present perfect

"My niece hates me.Because I have not taken care of her since she was a child."

This sentence will be wrong because the ability not to care her is still going on.I would be heratless.Because it is the usage of present perfect tence. What I want to ask that if present perfect and past perfect are in same use that ability not to care her is still going on.if I change past tense that sentence

"My niece hated me.Because I had not been taking care of her ever since she was a child."

Is it correct? If it is not correct how should I write this sentence in past?

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  • "Take care of" means "to keep someone safe and provided for", or to keep someone fed and housed. That's normally a parental role. Was this something you were supposed to do for your niece, or do you maybe mean something more like "spend time with" or "bond with"?
    – YonKuma
    Commented Mar 26 at 13:41
  • I'm not saying your meaning is impossible, if you babysit someone you "take care of them" for that time period. It may also be that your culture expects uncles to take on more of the responsibility of raising children than mine does. I'm just not sure it's your intended meaning.
    – YonKuma
    Commented Mar 26 at 13:54
  • Yes, in our country uncle is specified father.in last my question I want to point out I did not take care her for many years is first and later she hated me because of my behavior is second .Is it wrong ? If I can't use past perfect, is there another meaning for past perfect?@YonKuma
    – Thamilay
    Commented Mar 26 at 15:36
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    [correction: I did not take care her = I did not take care of her] I will let you correct your own question because that will help you remember: to take care of someone. You can check your grammar in general on other sites and apps, too, before posting here.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 26 at 16:24
  • @Lambie: But as is often pointed out, we get useful information about an OP's general competence in English from "uncorrected" text. I think in this case, although the lack of of is highly noticeable to native Anglophones, it doesn't significantly hamper our ability to understand the text. Commented Mar 26 at 18:52

2 Answers 2

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Let's say your niece is now 25 years old and your relationship is now good. But when she was a teenager she hated you because you neglected her as a child.

My niece, who is now 25, hated me when she was a teenager because I had neglected her when she was a child. But now she understands that my job was ship captain and I was always at sea.

My niece, who is now 25, hated me when she was a teenager because I had been neglecting her since she was a child. But now she understands that my job was ship captain and I was always at sea.

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  • If I use because I had neglected her since she was a child it would mean I neglected her up to she hated me and I could still neglect her at that time, it wouldn't? Because I understand that had been neglecting means temporary.@TimR
    – Thamilay
    Commented Mar 27 at 3:36
  • ...since she was a child is grammatical but to my ear it sounds just a tad off. I'd want to say ever since she was a child. From her perspective as a teen, your nerglect had been ongoing for as long as she could remember. You can express that idea with the continuous verb and/or with "ever since".
    – TimR
    Commented Mar 27 at 12:01
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I'm afraid that your tense is not correct. We usually use the simple present tense for personal emotions; if your niece hates you it is presumably a long-term situation, not an activity she is doing for a certain length of time like playing tennis or cooking a meal.

The rest of the sentence is rather strange. (You don't need to split it into two sentences). If you "did not take care of her when she was a child", presumably she is no longer a child and can take care of herself. Are you saying that you were supposed to look after your niece when she was a child but did not, or that she has special needs and still needs someone to 'take care of' her?

Or do you mean this?

My niece hated me because I did not take care of her when she was a child

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  • Yes,according to your explanation it does not need to use past perfect ,it does? Earlier time had not taken care.@Kate Bunting
    – Thamilay
    Commented Mar 26 at 13:29
  • I don't understand what you are asking. I had not taken care of her since she was a child would mean "I had taken care of her when she was a child, but had stopped doing so when she grew up". Commented Mar 26 at 14:15
  • I mean that I did not take care of her for many years when she was a child.Later when she grew up, she thought that I did not love her thats why she hated me.By the way " I had taken care of her when she was a child, but had stopped doing so when she grew up" Is there another meaning in past perfect? I was trying to point out the first action I had not taken care later she hated me for my behavior.@Kate Bunting
    – Thamilay
    Commented Mar 26 at 15:28
  • The past perfect tense is a verb form used to describe a past action that occurred before another past action. @Kate Bunting
    – Thamilay
    Commented Mar 26 at 15:48
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    Present - My niece hates me because I did not take care of her when she was a child. Past - My niece hated me because I had not taken care of her when she was a child. (the simple past tense would be OK too, as in my example.) Don't use since in this sentence, because that changes the meaning (you used to, but don't any longer). Commented Mar 26 at 17:01

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