1

I study really hard now. but until a couple of days ago, I (hadn't studied / didn't study) hard at all.

I think hadn't studied is more proper because it refers to the state before a specific time point, which is a couple of days ago.

which one is right?

  • 1
    My suggestion is: I study really hard (now?), but in the past two (or whatever number) days, I did not study hard at all. I think you should omit "now" because it contradicts the sense of time, unless you want to mean that the moment you say it you are studying hard again. Kindly clarify. – shin Aug 12 '15 at 10:51
  • 1
    A nice play on words could be "until a couple of days ago I hardly studied at all." – Victor Bazarov Aug 12 '15 at 11:31
2

Past perfect tenses are used to:

  • ... expresse the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past.

  • ... we use the Past Perfect to show that something started in the past and continued up until another action in the past (with certain verbs).

But I study hard now is expressing something in present, not the past. You are expressing a present and past action, not two past actions. So I think the simple past tense should be used.

Mostly, when you say "I hadn't studied" - it seems to leave an open question - "hadn't studied for ... some test that happened? What?"

Note that I study hard now says that you are studying hard in general, not for anything specific (you would generally use present continuous if you were - i.e. I am studying hard now for this test or similar), which also makes it sound like you aren't talking about an event but just a habit or characteristic of yourself.

| improve this answer | |
  • I think 'didn't study' makes sense because 'until a couple of days ago' is not the accident, which is necessary when we use past perfect. And we say like this: "I study really hard now. But a couple of days ago, I didn't study hard at all.". Even though we add 'until' here, I'm not sure if we need to use 'past perfect'. Then how about this? : Until I went to army, I had been a introverted person. – jihoon Aug 14 '15 at 2:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.