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Questions tagged [past-perfect]

This tag is for questions about the usage of the past perfect tense in English.

5
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2answers
163 views

Using Past-Perfect interchangeably with the Past Continuous

I've seen this sentence in another post here: Tom Cruise was thinking of a career in the church before finding a job in the movies. Would it be fine to use the Past-Perfect as well? If so, ...
1
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1answer
43 views

What is difference past simple and past perfect in this sentence?

I (non-native English speaker) have sometimes been confused about when to use past simple and when to use past perfect. President Donald Trump has vetoed a measure from Congress that revoked his ...
2
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2answers
24 views

The use of the past perfect after the word “before” in context

I have found it in this video. It is at 9 minute and 6 second. I think it is great I got to come, you know, before 10 or 20 or 30 years had passed, and I would have more agency in my career. I ...
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3answers
38 views

Past tenses in sequence: former and latter past events

I have a question about past tenses in sequence. I studied that while describing connected past events in sequence: event 1: former event is in past-perfect event 2: latter event is in past-tense ...
0
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2answers
37 views

change of tenses, different focus?

I have read the following sentence on a review site and it said: "The box looked like someone had played football with it". Can I change the sentence into: "The box looked like someone had been ...
0
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1answer
21 views

I had never been here before or I have never been here before?

I had never been here before? I have never been here before? Which one from these two is correct? The one in present perfect or the other in past perfect? I came across both. The "before" in ...
0
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1answer
22 views

same sentence, different tenses

I have found two examples of the same sentence where different tenses are used. I can't find the pictures I had looked at earlier. I can't find the pictures I had been looking at earlier. To me ...
0
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1answer
16 views

The order of actions (in the example sentence)

I talked to her before she had arrived. Could you make the order of actions clear in this sentence?
1
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1answer
30 views

was forced vs had been forced

Going through customs to leave a country can sometimes be very frustrating. First she was asked why she was not rolling her carryon. The handle got stuck when she got off the car so she had been ...
0
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1answer
31 views

“Past Perfect vs Simple Past” expressions

Although I think they are interchangeable in some usage, there seems to be a little difference in nuance. "I had my dinner already" vs "I have eaten my dinner already" "We have met before" ...
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2answers
28 views

any further efforts at biography had been well and truly silenced

In a recent conversation with Seamus Heaney, I made the point that after Roy Foster's monumental biography of Yeats, any further efforts at biography had been well and truly silenced. The advent of ...
1
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1answer
20 views

“present perfect” vs “past perfect”

Should I use present perfect or past perfect in the following context? Are they both correct? Jason, did you see yesterday's match between Liverpool and Chelsea? What a match it was! I have never/had ...
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2answers
41 views

is it possible to put an atelic activity into the past perfect tense?

Is it possible to put an atelic activity like "browsing the internet" into the past perfect tense? For example: I browsed the internet from 2 o'clock to 4 o'clock. At 7 o'clock I start making dinner....
0
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1answer
29 views

Do all four given sentences mean the same thing? Are they grammatically correct?

Have I told you he stopped responding to my letters because I'd offended him in the last letter I sent him? Have I told you he stopped responding to my letters because I offended him in the last ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

forgot or have forgotten my id card

Today, I came to office without Id card and hence took temporary staff pass. I just need to inform my HR on this by email which sentence I should use out of these two. I have forgotten my id card ...
1
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1answer
33 views

Had not needed vs did not need

I was asked to fill the blank below preseving the meaning of the sentence. It was not necessary for him to take any warm clothes, so he travelled light. He ________________________ take any warm ...
1
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1answer
29 views

How to parse “Harry had once before had the experience of seeing something…”

Harry had once before had the experience of seeing something that Ron could not, but that had been a reflection in a mirror, something much more insubstantial than a hundred very solid-looking beasts ...
2
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1answer
26 views

past before past

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/18/us/politics/pelosi-donald-trump-cancel-travel.html Mr. Trump asked on Twitter before Ms. Pelosi’s office had announced the postponement. I think past before ...
0
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2answers
54 views

“I hadn't known about it” (tense choice)

Let's consider the following conversation: Why don't you use such a nice application as [some application]? It can do this, it can also do that. I hadn't known about it. Is it correct to use the ...
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3answers
37 views

“.. + had + had + past-participle + ..”

I know the cases like I had had a headache yesterday. where had had is grammatically correct. Is ".. + had + had + past-participle + .." grammatically correct the way used in the following sentences, ...
2
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2answers
49 views

Have not vs Have never

Can someone please tell me what the difference is between the two phrases: Have not and Have never? As far as I know, "have not" is usually used to mean that something has not happened in a period ...
0
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1answer
33 views

Can I use past perfect in this response?

I would like to know if I can use past perfect in this response: Did not know that you would contact me again !!! I had tried to contact so many times and did not receive any answer that I ...
1
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1answer
28 views

Why is this grammatically correct? - “I would like to cancel the job that I had ordered”

As the title states, would you mind teaching me why this sentence is grammatically correct? "I would like to cancel the job that I had ordered" The reason I ask is that the below sentence doesn't ...
2
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2answers
43 views

Past perfect usage with simultaneous events?

I was reading To Kill a Mockingbird and I came across a sentence: This was the first {time} he had let us know he knew a lot more about something than we thought he knew. I can't understand the ...
0
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1answer
31 views

Difference had wanted and wanted

Should I use wanted or had wanted here? a) I was not sure if She had wanted to marry me. b) I was not sure if She wanted to marry me. Or. a) She had wanted to marry me but I refused the proposal. ...
3
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3answers
103 views

Using the correct tense to establish a past context

Given the following sentence: Vivian _____________ computer lessons for very long so she wasn't sure how to use the Internet. I put hadn't had in missing place but the answer was hadn't been ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Have/Had never risen so high

Should I use the present perfect or the past perfect in the following context? Last year, a tragic bus accident happened in Kolkata. At least 60 people died in the accident. The bus driver was ...
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0answers
44 views

Is it grammatically correct to use past perfect twice in the same sentence? [duplicate]

Six months later, she had not conceived and her anxiety had increased. Is it grammatically correct to use past perfect twice in the same sentence?
3
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2answers
1k views

I HAD / HAVE never seen a match like that before!

"Have never seen" or "Had never seen": Which one is correct in the following context? If they are both correct, then which one would you prefer? John, did you see the match between Liverpool and ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

past perfect progressive instead of past perfect simple?

This is from a novel: The man who had sat next to her the day before began to laugh. Is it possible to say: The man who had been sitting next to her the day before began to laugh?
0
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1answer
44 views

does the past perfect tense sound natural in this example?

This is an example (for the past perfect tense) from a grammar book : The boys had played football, meaning they had finished playing, before Susan came. Does this sound natural to a native speaker, ...
0
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0answers
30 views

the meaning of past perfect continuous in that case

What indeed? While she was walking through the forest, she saw a wolf strolling slowly towards her, humming something to himself. A minute or so earlier, the wolf had been watching her from behind a ...
0
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2answers
30 views

What is the difference in meanings of the two sentences?

He was waiting for me when I reached arrived. He had been waiting for me when I arrived.
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1answer
47 views

Should I use past perfect here or not?

A query message to an online seller: (hyperlink to the product) Wanna buy but I'm not quite sure if it's genuine or not cz I saw a review by one of your buyers, he/he'd uploaded a photo taken ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Correct Use of Past Perfect Tense in the context

I have asked so many question about use of Had (Past Perfect) in English sentence. But sometime after I made my concept clear come across some sentence which force me to re think it. E.g. https://...
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2answers
314 views

Past Simple and Past Perfect. “I had seen” or “I saw” him a few days before he left

Yesterday I saw this sentence in some test without any context: I ... (see) him a few days before he ... (leave). My answer was "I'd seen him a few days before he left", but it was wrong. Right ...
3
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1answer
115 views

“she was raped” or “she had been raped” in this reported speech

A) A 21 year old girl studying in Vidynagar alleged that she was raped by a boy in a hotel in the city on August 23. Based on above complaint police arrested accuse. B) A 21 year old girl ...
0
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1answer
23 views

Since vs before, which a conjunction should I use in present or past perfect tense?

A Conjunction of "since" is used in present perfect tense, and that of "before" is used in past perfect tense. for example A staff working at the company has found the document since his or her boss ...
0
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1answer
31 views

Past perfect usage

I went over to John's place three months ago. (this sentence should mean the speaker went over to john's place three months before now.) I had visited John's, three months ago. Without a reference ...
0
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0answers
26 views

past perfect simple vs past perfect continuous in these examples

I was wondering why the past perfect simple is used in one sentence and the past perfect continuous in the other. What is the difference? "The bartender looked at the seat the customer had occupied." ...
0
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0answers
17 views

Past perfect tense confusion

Here is the sentence. “I had not made a decison yet, when they asked me what degree in college will (emphasised text) I pursue. First question: Is it ok to use the word “will” in this context? I ...
0
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1answer
157 views

Have done vs Did

I wonder which of these sentences sound more natural to the ears of native English speakers. I have done/finished/received my education from high school to college in the Netherlands. or I did/...
0
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1answer
66 views

Having something for years correct tense usage

Suppose I have a thing. I've acquired the thing many years ago but still have it. As far as I know, a correct phrase describing the said situation would be: I've been having this thing for years. ...
0
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2answers
46 views

past perfect unnecessary usage

In the afternoon, he'd attended a funeral. What's the meaning of "he'd attended"? Is it "he had attended"?! if so then why should we use past perfect instead of simple past? Is it "he would ...
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1answer
18 views

past perfect and past simple difference in a sentence

Consider these two sentences: Laura passed her exam because she studied very hard. Laura passed her exam because she had studied very hard. I think that the second one is correct because first, she ...
0
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1answer
993 views

had vs have difference? [closed]

What's the difference between : I have not sent this email. I had not sent this email. I usually get confused in had/have. And I might have used them incorrectly many times. Can someone ...
1
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1answer
35 views

past perfect to explain the completion of an action

I just ordered the book after seeing this aleatorick's post on the blog (probably as soon as he had posted it) would it be better to use past simple for post, I chose past perfect because I wanted ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

we were talking and catching up on what we’ve been doing

A: Well, we were talking and catching up on what we've been doing, talking about work and family, when all of a sudden, Matt saw a mouse run under his chair and he completely lost it! He started ...
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1answer
529 views

“He had already left the house yesterday.” Is this correct?

We cannot use the present perfect with an expression of time, like yesterday, 2 years ago. Yeah, I(non-native speaker) know that. But how about the past perfect? a. We visited him yesterday but he ...
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1answer
35 views

Correct uses of Perfect continuous Tense

Between them which one is right? Indira Banerjee who was the Chief Justice of Madras, has recently been elevated to Apex Court. Indira Banerjee who was the Chief Justice of Madras, had ...