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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.

Thank you.

marked as duplicate by Nathan Tuggy, ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq, ColleenV, Peter, Varun Nair Feb 4 '16 at 5:03

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  • I think both are the same, their usage in this case is specific time. – XPMai Apr 25 '15 at 14:12
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The past perfect more clearly shows the sequence of events.

Use:

By 1990, he had become a star.

for a single year,

or

By the 1990s, he had become a star.

for a range of years.

"The" is normally required in the 2nd.

See this search at Google Books.

  • Thank you to all. Maruis sir Please tell me By 1990, he had become a star. I am confused in which year he was a star. Do you mean he was a star from 1989 to 1990 or do you mean he was a star from 1990 to 1991? I don't get the what you mean by for a year. By the 1990s, he had become a star. Does it mean he was a star from 1990 to 1994 for 4 years? Or by 1994 he was a star for four years? I just can't get what it means.Please tell me. Thank you. – amar singh Mar 24 '15 at 16:56
  • "By" means "during the years leading to 1990, he had become a star". Or: "before the year 1990 was there, he had become a star." So, there's no exact moment, but an interval over which he had become so. – Marius Hancu Mar 24 '15 at 17:09
  • Thank you Marius 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 Marius sir will help. Thank you. – amar singh Mar 25 '15 at 3:43
  • See meaning 8 here ldoceonline.com/dictionary/by_1. Read some of the threads here goo.gl/wGJTAj – Marius Hancu Mar 25 '15 at 12:08
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In casual speech, a listener would gather the same information from both sentences, that his becoming a star occurred before the 1990's.

The first sentence, the simpler sentence, delineates the time period before the 1990's by using the simple past tense along with the adverbial phrase "by [the] 1990's." The second sentence additionally uses the past perfect tense to say the same thing.

  • Sir could the difference between them be In 1.He became a star by 1990's. could it mean "he" became a star -during- the 1990s In 2.He had become a star by 1990's. could it mean "he" was already a star by the time the 1990s arrived. Thank you. – amar singh Mar 24 '15 at 17:31
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Simple past is used for events that happened in a specific point. Past perfect is used for an action that happened before another action in the past.

He had become a star by 1990's,

implies that this fact happened before another event in the past.

Normally when dealing with regular verbs, simple past and past perfect structures are the same.

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