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Questions tagged [past-perfect]

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

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Using will in interrogatives?

I really find it difficult to frame a proper English sentence. I want to ask if this sentence is correct or not: will she be happy if she comes to know that you bought it from the stolen money? ...
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3answers
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Present perfect simple for an unfinished action

I decided to walk back home. I had walked for about 200 meters when the storm began and I ran to the nearest cafe. Would it be possible to use past perfect progressive since the walk was not ...
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1answer
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Is it not a strange past perfect here?

The rumor we heard at the time was that Chris D had a bunch of Upsetter overstock of this Tooth and Nail vinyl compilations and that he'd recently carried them down to Rhino for beer money. the first ...
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2answers
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Difference between did and does

I messaged my friend asking if a person(say Mr. ABC) replies to his messages. So I texted him saying: " Does Mr. ABC reply to your messages?" He corrected me saying that it was "did" and not "does" ...
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1answer
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Why do I need the past, not the past perfect, here?

Capital expenditure of their company in the year 2001 _______ clearly below the spending in the year 2000 when they _______ about half the investments for the concept conversion. A) used to be / had ...
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1answer
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I already finished the work

I have such a rule in my head that if we have "already", "still" or "yet" I am obliged to use Perfect Tenses. But can these words be used in Past Simple? I already finished the work (some time in ...
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2answers
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I had finished it by 11 am

I was told to that it was incorrect to say: I had finished it by 11 am The person was saying Past Perfect could be used only with Past Simple, not times like this one. What do you think about it?
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1answer
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why should the past perfect be used?

I did my homework and met an offer. He felt tired because he had worked a lot. why I have to use 'had' if I can say that: He felt tired because he worked a lot.
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0answers
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When you had found it out by 11 am I had already come?

Can we say so: I found it out at 11 am ? It's Past Simple. The action happened while it was 11 am Can we say: I had found it out by 11 am? It's Past Perfect. The action had happened before 11 am....
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0answers
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I had done when you had come by the evening

We have "A" and B moments in the past. "A" happened first, "B" happened second. "A" should be in Perfect. Example: I had done when you came I had done - "A" When you came - "B" "A" happened before ...
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1answer
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We swam in the same pool we saw / had seen in the photos

Which is the correct form and why? On safari we swam in the same pool we saw in the photos on the website. On safari we swam in the same pool we had seen in the photos on the website.
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1answer
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We had not reached the station yet when it had already begun to rain

I found such a sentence: We had not reached the station yet when it began to rain And as I see the logic of English people, it's so: The action of "not reaching" happened firstly and only then ...
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1answer
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Which tense should be used in this situation?

I am confused about what tense I should use in this situation. He ______ (can) picture his brother's face more clearly now, because he had saved the life of a fourteen-year-old boy, who remarkably ...
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1answer
59 views

“Because” with past perfect or past simple?

This is from a newspaper: The real reason he was arrested was because he smeared poo all over the walls. Shouldn't the past perfect be used: ... he was arrested because he had smeared poo all ...
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1answer
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Past tense of “ I have to”

Question 1: How do I change this correctly and accordingly to the past perfect tense example: He have to do that because someone has told him to possible answer: He had to do that because someone ...
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1answer
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Which tense should I use after “by the time you read this”?

Could you please advise which sentence is grammatically correct? By the time you read this, I have already bought tickets and I have reserved a hotel. or By the time you read this, I have ...
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1answer
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“I waited 4 years to see SS2” vs “I had to wait 4 years to see SS2”

My friend and I were talking about a movie called "Attack on Titans". The SS1 sequel began airing in 2013 while SS2 began airing in 2017. I want to say this to my friend, but I don't have a better ...
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2answers
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Had commissioned into commissioned?

Mona Lisa was commissioned to celebrate the birth at a baby boy. The lady in the painting was Lisa del Giocondi,who was a member of the Gheradini family in Florence. It is assumed that the family had ...
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1answer
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Is the action simultaneous or not

I know Past Perfect rules and I have also read some questions here connected with this point, but I still doubt. “My telephone fell down ...
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2answers
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Before I (have) started the University I (had) worked as

Before I have started the University I worked as waitress in a cafe. I'm not sure about the tenses here (present perfect/past simple). Maybe it should be Before I started university I had ...
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0answers
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I had done and I was happy

Present Perfect is used for actions which happened in the past but have some influence for the present: I have done it and now I am happy What is "have done" action? It's something what happened ...
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1answer
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Tenses past ind. Past perfect

Which one us correct? Jane studied the lawyer's face carefully before she answered him. Jane had studied the lawyer's face carefully before she answered him.
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1answer
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I (hear, not) _____ the song in years [closed]

A) I (hear, not) _____ the song in years. B) I (hear, not) _____ the song in years, and when I heard it I cried. If I have understood correctly the differences of these two Tenses, in the first ...
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1answer
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never traveled or had never traveled?

Rousseau produced twenty-six jungle paintings in the final six years of his life. In fact, he had never traveled outside of France or seen a jungle. If had never traveled would be changed into ...
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2answers
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The use of the past perfect and past simple and present simple in context

Tell me please which of the following sentences is correct. The teacher came up to Kate and said that the assignment had been done badly, because there were a lot of grammar mistakes. The ...
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1answer
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Sequence of Tenses in a relative clause

I was reading an article and something about tenses made me confused. " Before then, I had never come across anyone who had stayed clean without using any drugs or alcohol. My only frame of reference ...
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2answers
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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, ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
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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
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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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?
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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 ...
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1answer
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“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
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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 ...
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1answer
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“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
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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....
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
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“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
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“.. + 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, ...
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2answers
186 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...