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I was overwhelmed with joy when i read the texts you had sent me.

I was overwhelmed with joy when i read the texts you sent me.

Are both the above sentences grammatically correct? What's the difference in their meaning?

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Both sentences mean the same thing, that someone sent you texts which made you happy.

Using had sent (past perfect), shows that the sender finished sending before the next action: that you were overwhelmed. However, in this case, there is no ambiguity in the order of actions since you could only become overwhelmed after the texts were sent.

For my experience, the second sentence is used more, the first sounds too learned.

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    Does it sound less learned to you if the person says "... you'd sent me"?
    – TimR
    Dec 30, 2015 at 22:43

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