The sentence is

the background music that's gone through Louis's mind when he discovered his love for Lestat"

and I don't know which verb forms would be correct in the relative clause and why.

  • Proofreading questions are off-topic unless a specific source of concern in the text is clearly identified.
    – Hot Licks
    May 1, 2016 at 19:27
  • 3
    F.H.H., In an attempt to avoid a proofreading charge, I have rephrased your question to make it one specific to appropriate word choice. This is how I've interpreted your question and also how I've answered it. Please make sure that I'm correct in my understanding of your question.
    – deadrat
    May 1, 2016 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


Your problem is in selecting the correct verb form for to go in the relative clause

that [verb form of to go] through Louis's mind

This must be compatible with the adverbial clause of time

when he discovered his love for Lestat

Discovered is a simple past tense indicating a completed act in past time, and has gone (that's is a contraction for that has) is in the present perfect, which covers some past interval up to the present. That won't work because it covers time past the discovery of love.

You have the following reasonable choices.

  • the simple past

    the background music that went through Louis's mind

    Coupled with when, this means the music happened at the same time as the discovery.

  • the past progressive:

    the background music that was going through Louis's mind

    This emphasizes that the music was playing before and during the discovery.

  • the past perfect

    the background music that had gone through Louis's mind

    This indicates a past action completed before a past event, which would be taken here to be the moment after the discovery. In other words, the discovery of love triggered some music.

  • the past perfect progressive:

    the background music that had been going through Louis's mind

the progressive indicates an ongoing event during the defined past interval.

  • I've just read the question (and edited) and the main verb of the sentence is missing. I think the OP should clarify what the question is about.
    – user24743
    May 10, 2016 at 14:14

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