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Please could you have a look at this little text:

I had preordered these books for a long time in a library, as they did not arrive I choose to find them by my self and finally found them. I had decided to do that because I had been tired of waiting.

Here is my question: do I need past perfect "had been tired" or would past simple "was tired" be better?

I think past perfect is better because both actions "deciding and being tired of waiting" happened before I found these books.

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Yes, you can use the simple past "was tired". It is understood that after he had been waiting for some time, he "was" tired. He wasn't tired at the beginning of the waiting. So "was tired" is in the past, but does not extend as far into the past as "had been waiting".

However, there seems to be a couple problems in the first sentence.

  • unless you had ordered the books separately, at various times: "I had preordered these books for a long time in a library," s/b "I had preordered these books a long time before from [a/the] library;" <- note semicolon

  • "...to find them for my self" s/b "...to find them for myself," <- note comma

  • Ok But what I don't understand : why past perfect is not possible for "decided" ?For me the reference time is "finding the books".As the action of "decided"is before, so would you try to explain why past perfect is not possible.Is it because "had decided" implies a change of view ."I had decided but in fact I did not do it " – user5577 Feb 18 '15 at 8:37
  • I failed to mention that "choose" should be "chose. And "chose" is the same action as "decided". So they should be in the same tense. Simple past. Or else say "had chosen" and "had decided". But the choice/decision was more recent than the ordering, the waiting, and the getting tired of waiting, so simple past makes more sense. – Brian Hitchcock Feb 20 '15 at 8:29
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I would write:

I had preordered these books for a long time in a library, however as they did not arrive I chose to find them by myself and finally found them. I decided to do that because I was tired of waiting.

(some minor corrections are in italics)

I had preordered these books for a long time...

is fine because it occurs over a period of time in the past (a long time).

I chose to find them

is fine because it was a single action, a choice, that occurred in the past.

I was tired of waiting.

Here the simple past was is better, as it resulted in a specific action/decision (I decided to do that) in the past.

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I agree to the correction made to the first sentence by the user 3169.

As for the second sentence "I had decided to do so as I had been tired of waiting", I don't think we should always use the past perfect when we refer to an action earlier to another action in the past. We can avoid using the past perfect if we feel it unnecessary where the past simple fits well in the context. Please look at the following sentences:

*I did it because he told me to (Oxford).

*He couldn't come because he was ill (The Free).

So the second sentence can be rephrased as follows in the past simple or the past perfect:

I decided to do that because I was (or had been) tired of waiting.

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