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The last time Lara and I had been to Paris, Lara had told me all about how much you loved living in Paris.

The last time Lara and I had been Paris, she told me all about how much you loved living in Paris.

Her telling me, and our being there is at the same time at a time before the past. So, for the construction to be interpreted that way, are we to use the past perfect following the TOLD, or are to use just the simple past?

If we used the past perfect there, would the time frame mean

Her telling me how much Jenny loved living in Paris- 1st.

Our being somewhere together.- 2nd

My telling someone else what jenny had told me.-3rd. ?

marked as duplicate by Alan Carmack, Nathan Tuggy, ColleenV, Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩, WendiKidd Jun 26 '16 at 1:06

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  • 1
    Perhaps with some additional context introducing these sentences, there might be some justification for the past perfect. With "the last time" I would expect a simple past: "The last time we were there, she told me all about..." – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 23 '16 at 16:08
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    You seem to still be obsessed with trying to justify using Past Perfect. Mostly, you don't need it. – FumbleFingers Jun 23 '16 at 16:09
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    Using the past perfect in the introductory clause is not necessary, unless you have a reason to do so. And we can't judge how appropriate that is from one sentence. You could just say The last time we were there,... And it is natural to follow that with the simple past: she told me... – Alan Carmack Jun 23 '16 at 16:17
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    I'm popping in and out of ELL while on hold on the phone; no time for a chat, sorry. My advice, provide more context with your example sentences, that is, as part of the example, rather than as commentary. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 23 '16 at 16:33
  • 2
    There you go again! It had been in the paper yesterday that the killer had killed all the people. We've only got (Simple) past and further in the past (Past Perfect), but because you've already (pointlessly) cast your narrative time further in the past with the first had, it's no longer possible to indicate that the events actually happened some time earlier than when they were reported in the paper. You should concentrate on learning how to avoid the Past Perfect, not how to maximize your use of it! – FumbleFingers Jun 23 '16 at 17:49

In your sentence

The last time Lara and I had been to Paris
The last time Lara and I were in Paris

The first sentence could be interpreted as during or after the trip to Paris, the second sentence implies you were in Paris (when Lara told you the story)

Lara had told me all about
Lara told me all about

Lara conveyed to you a story, either past perfect or simple past has the same meaning

how much you loved living in Paris.
how much you had loved living in Paris.

in the first sentence, the person being talked about may or may not still be living in Paris, in the second sentence it is implied they no longer live in Paris.

Without further context, there are some ambiguities in your sentence.

Using too many past perfects

had been... had told... had lived...

is not grammatically incorrect, but sounds clunky.

  • How do you convey multiple events at multiple times that have taken place before the past? – lekon chekon Jun 23 '16 at 17:22
  • "The last time Lara and I had been to Paris, Lara had told me all about how much you loved living in Paris." If I wanted to convey, Lara told me ..... even before we went to Paris, how would I do it? – lekon chekon Jun 23 '16 at 17:23
  • It might be as if you met Jenny at a cocktail party: "Lara has told me how much you love living in Paris." or "Lara told me how much you love living in Paris." You would not need to mention going to Paris. – Peter Jun 23 '16 at 17:32

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