I read about past perfect is about event in the past before another event in past. so am I correct to use past perfect in this sentence ?

I found posting about Michelle Branch accidentally and had led me to this song [to_youtube_url]

Also I wrote in lang-8 yesteday and the sentence is :

The thing had brought me to like watching korean movie it was because I was out of stock hollywood movie to download.

I used past perfect because I think there is event happened before another event/action.

1) I was out of stock hollywood.......

2) The thing had brought me...........

but someone corrected mine without explanation like this :

The thing that brought me to like watching Korean dramas was that I was out of Hollywood movies to download.

I know mine is incorrect but would you explain why ?

2 Answers 2


Very broadly, you use perfect constructions to 'interrupt' a discourse or narrative and refer to an event which occurred before the time of your narrative—typically because the earlier event explains or in some sense gives rise to a state which is current at the time with which you are primarily concerned.

Thus, you use the past perfect when your primary narrative or discourse concerns some past time, cast in ordinary past-tense forms, and you need to refer to some event which occurred before that past time. In your second example, for instance, your primary discourse is about the time at which you camepast to like watching Korean movies; you use the past perfect to explain that this came about because before that time you had runpast perfect out of Hollywood movies to watch.

In your first example, however, you are narrating events in sequence, and there is no need for a perfect: first you sawpast the posting about Michelle Branch, and that subsequently ledpast you to the song on YouTube.

You might, however, use a present perfect here, to explain how it comes about that in the time since you saw the posting something occurred which gave rise to your current ability to post a link to the song:

Yesterday I accidentally foundpast a posting about Michelle Branch. That has now ledpresent perfect me to this song, which I think you will enjoy.

  • It does mean I can use past perfect in my second example ? Would you correction that sentence, please ?
    – mockie
    Oct 12, 2014 at 16:28
  • 1
    @mockie Yes, but you have to flip the constructions of your two verbs: What brought (past) me to like watching Korean movies was that I had run (past perfect) out of Hollywood movies to download. Oct 12, 2014 at 17:06

Past-perfect is used when the speaker of the sentence is imagining or remembering themselves back in time, thinking of an event that had happened before the point in time where they're imagining themselves to be.

Today, I am downloading a Korean drama because I have watched all of the Hollywood movies that I own.

Next week you are telling someone about what you did last week (today):

I downloaded a Korean drama. Why? because I had already watched all of the Hollywood movies that I own.

  • Thanks, I have seen example like you give me above but sometimes past perfect still confused me in real life and sometimes I see an article that not simple as the example you give me or that I see in tutorial :(
    – mockie
    Oct 12, 2014 at 16:32
  • That's because I'm trying to keep the example simple :-)
    – TimR
    Oct 12, 2014 at 16:35
  • Also, not every statement will be first person "I", and then it is about the relative times of the actions that comprise the predication. When X happened in the past, and Y happened in the past, and Y happened before X, Y is stated in the past perfect, to make the sequence of events clear. You had watched all of your Hollywood movies BEFORE you downloaded the Korean drama. He went to the store AFTER he had run out of food to eat.
    – TimR
    Oct 12, 2014 at 16:36
  • Yes,you still help me with your answer :) btw is it possible we can use past perfect without mentioning the first action/even or it's a must to mention first event/action ?
    – mockie
    Oct 12, 2014 at 16:43
  • Do you have a specific example? Depending on the context, the more recent action could be implicit.
    – TimR
    Oct 12, 2014 at 16:56

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