What is the difference between

  1. He became a star by 1990's.

  2. He had become a star by 1990's.

Is the first sentence correct? If yes, then please tell me the difference between the two.


1 Answer 1


First, "the 1990's" is a decade not a specific year, so you need to insert the article in each of your questions, and remove the apostrophes (it is not possessive):

1 - He became a star in the 1990s.
2 - He had become a star in the 1990s.


a - He became a star by the 1990s.
b - He had become a star by the 1990s.

That said, the difference is that in sentences 1/2, "he" became a star during the 1990s, and in sentences a/b, "he" was already a star by the time the 1990s arrived.

  • All true, but you don't seem to address the specific point OP appears to be actually asking about. We lack a full context, which could affect things, but I'd be inclined to say the 1990s is effectively the "narrative time" in all cases, so it's more appropriate to use Past Perfect (he had become a star) with by, because it's referring to an earlier action. But it's obviously possible to have a different narrative time, allowing more flexibility. Commented Mar 24, 2015 at 18:27
  • Thank you FumbleFinger sir. Sir I think 1990s is too broad a time to effectively put my question across.I think this will do. 1) He gave the book by monday. Does it mean he got the book at the end of monday or maybe before. 2) he had gave the book by monday.Does it mean he got the book before monday.Not later than sunday midnight. Is my thinking about the two sentences correct?Please help sir.I am really nervous and sad about this.Have been thinking all day.Hope FUmbleFingers sir will help. Thank you.
    – amar singh
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 3:42

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