I'm just wondering if both tenses are acceptable in the following statement. Does it make a difference to the statement?

I have loved trekking since I was a little boy. My dad used to go trekking with me when I was young and when I became/had become old enough to trek on my own, I trek on every Saturday or Sunday.

  • Welcome! You've actually got a few more issues with your sentence than just that one. Can you discuss why you think one option is better than the other?
    – Catija
    May 22, 2015 at 15:44
  • Did your dad go with you or did you go with your dad? As children, a lot of our choices are encouraged or initiated by parents, so it's very likely (to me) that your dad went trekking and you went along with him,, which would make it recommended to change to "I used to go trekking with my dad"... if, instead, you were the one who said "I'm going for a trek if anyone wants to come along" every time, then your sentence order is good... by choosing your word order carefully, you can tell the reader which person is the instigator of the action.
    – Catija
    May 22, 2015 at 15:49
  • Or, you could choose to say "My dad and I used to go trekking together when I was young"... which is a more general statement.
    – Catija
    May 22, 2015 at 15:50
  • Thanks for correcting the sentence. I was thinking that perhaps 'became' is possibly the right tense to use because I became old enough to trek on my own in the past. 'Had become' might not be possibly the right tense because there isn't another past action that happened after that.
    – Faith
    May 22, 2015 at 16:14
  • Good call. I agree. Though I'll be honest "had become" isn't a bad choice here, necessarily, but it may slightly imply that somehow, magically, you're no longer old enough. Because we know you can't un-age, we're fine with this usage and understand what it means just fine. But if, for example, you said "I had become a teacher" it could imply that you are no longer a teacher.
    – Catija
    May 22, 2015 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


You would use past perfect if you were saying something like:

When I had become old enough to do that, I did X

And you are, but you have your tense on the second verb messed up:

... when I had become old enough to trek on my own, I trekked (simple past) on every Saturday or Sunday.

But this somewhat implies you no longer trek. You have a couple of options if you want to express that you still are currently trekking

... when I had become old enough to trek on my own, I trekked on every Saturday or Sunday, and still do today.

... when I had become old enough to trek on my own, I { started | began } trekking on every Saturday or Sunday.

Either started or began will make it clear what is happening.

Additionally, the word trek to me is a somewhat "off" in the way you are using it (it's not commonly used as a verb, for starters, but possible). It's more or less equivalent to going on a journey which is a major event. There's no set time a trek or journey must last, but it wouldn't be something you do once or twice a week normally. I'd use explore or walking, etc.

  • 1
    Not to mention that four uses of "trek" in two sentences is a bit much.
    – Catija
    May 22, 2015 at 19:15

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