I came across the following exercise:

complete with one word

There was a man who ____ ice-skating so much that he ____ to make a crude skate with wooden wheels to use during the ____ (unrelated but warm or warmer?) months

I chose the verbs "love" and "decide" respectively however I felt like I should say "had loved *** so much he decide to.." because one action (or rather state of mind) later affects the other

  1. Is it correct or a completely unrelated use of the tense?
  2. Is "love" a stative verb?
  • 1
    love and decide are not past tense.
    – TimR
    Feb 9, 2016 at 17:15
  • i know...it's their base form. add a "to" in your mind's eye if it bugs you so
    – J.Bakk
    Feb 10, 2016 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


Simple past is what to use here. The man loved skating so much that he decided to make roller skates. The reason is that other more complex forms of the past tense have to do with some form of comparison of different points in time. This sentence is simply saying that the loving and the deciding occurred in the past. (It is possible to use past perfect, if you are saying, for example, that he had loved skating 20 years ago so last year he decided to make roller skates. But otherwise, use simple past.)

This is a good overview of all the tenses, with diagrams that explain when to use which.

Also, love is generally considered a stative verb, as it would be in this case.

  • he had loved skating 20 years ago so last year he decided to make roller skates . Past perfect is not necessary as the sequence of time is crystal clear
    – Yves Lefol
    Feb 10, 2016 at 9:00
  • well i don't have the option to rewrite the text and add my own time expressions. i have to fill in a single word
    – J.Bakk
    Feb 10, 2016 at 17:59

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