Questions tagged [past-perfect]

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

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How did you know I wrote/had written it

In a classroom, one student (A) to another (B): A: You wrote it on the board, right? B1: I'm surprised! How did you know I wrote it. B2: I'm surprised! How did you know I had written it. What's the ...
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2 answers
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What is direct speech form of these sentences? 1. He asked me if I had come by train or by bus 2. She wanted to know who we had invited to the party

He asked me if I had come by train or by bus She wanted to know who we had invited to the party I Know the basics about direct and indirect speech. But I doubt if my answers are correct. I'm new to ...
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37 views

Would it be idiomatic to use past perfect in "I forgot I (had) promised"?

The following is from a movie on YouTube called "Daughter Kidnapped" (a link to that moment): Ally is Paige's Daughter. Ally's father has died recently. Diane is the owner of a farm in the ...
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1 answer
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They arrived when I wasn't around, but I had been there before. - 'does Had Been mean up to a particular moment'

' had been' isn't passive here In this sentence: They arrived when I wasn't around, but I had been there before. when we use 'had been', does it mean that something had been there up to a particular ...
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1 answer
183 views

What is the best "had or had expected " in this case

It turned out that what happened was different from what I expected in my mind. I would like to know if my sentence is idiomatic and if we can write the following? It turned out that what happened ...
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3 answers
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Which of the following is grammatically sound? "They have/had been doing no work this afternoon"

They have been doing no work this afternoon. Or They had been doing no work this afternoon. Provided the time specified 'afternoon' elapsed.
-1 votes
1 answer
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Past perfect with know

I knew I was german I knew I had been german Can someone explain the difference between these to and when to use them?
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2 answers
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Past perfect saw thought

1 I saw you ate 2 I saw you had eaten 3 I thought you were right 4 I thought you had been right 1 and 2 are clear to me. 1 at the same time 2 first eating then seeing for example crumbles. What about ...
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past perfect continuous vs past perfect (perfect continuous vs perfect simple)

I read that the perfect continuous is an action that continuous up to another point and my teacher told me that usually these actions are ongoing or they end very close to the other point. My question ...
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I thought+ past simple or perfect

1 When I entered the room she cleaned windows 2 When I entered the room she had cleaned windows These examples are clear to me. 1 prpbably both actions at the same time 2 first cleaning that entering....
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Past perfect vs simple 11

1 I saw they stole my car 2 I saw they had stolen my car 1 implies that both actions happened at the same time or it's also possible that stealing occured first and I didn't see robers. 2 it cleary ...
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Past perfect vs simple past

I want to know exactly when we use past simple and when we use past perfect, because both of them can be use to emphasize the duration with "for" , it become so confusing for me when to use ...
1 vote
1 answer
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What is the correct way to write this indirect speech? "...she told me she hadn't recognised/ didn't recognise me before I had faced/faced her"

oh I didn't recognise you before you faced me. If I wanted to change it in indirect speech which would be acceptable? "Yesterday I saw Claire and she told me she hadn't recognised/ didn't ...
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The use of past and past perfect tense

This is an excerpt from 'New Concept English 3 Lesson 36' When the brothers were reunited, Hans explained how it was that he was still alive. After having been wounded towards the end of the war, he ...
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3 answers
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Usage of 'have had'

The following is a line from the novel 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand. Why, then—she wondered—should he have had to carry a burden of tragedy which, in silent endurance, he had accepted so completely ...
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3 answers
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Past simple vs past perfect mc

1 I thought you like me 2 I thought you had liked me Is there any difference between these tenses. In my opinion only second one is correct because first was " liking" then " ...
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2 answers
170 views

What's the difference between 'When I saw her, she was near that place' and 'When I saw her, she had been near that place'?

What is the difference in meaning between the two sentences below? 1.When I saw her, she was near that place. 2.When I saw her, she had been near that place. In the first sentence we have Past ...
-1 votes
0 answers
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By the time past perfect

By the time we arrived, she escaped By the time we arrived, she had escsped. Do these sentences mean the same and the use of past simple or perfect changes nothing like when we use before or after?
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how to understand where it is better not to use Past Perfect?

I am confused, because I use Past Perfect even where it's not needed. Please, help me to figure out. For instance, why we don't say: We had had nothing in common with her, so we quickly lost contact....
1 vote
1 answer
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Why is it correct to use the past simple "she did it" instead of the past perfect?

At the end of a movie, the main character kills the mean people and another person replies "she did it". Why did he use past simple? I would have used "she has done it* because the ...
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1 answer
126 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 ...
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1 answer
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Past Perfect vs Past Simple in "We [had] lived in Cracow for ten years before we moved to Hong Kong."

We had lived in Cracow for ten years before we moved to Hong Kong. OR We lived in Cracow for ten years before we moved to Hong Kong. In my opinion Past Perfect is more suitable here as the first part ...
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2 answers
83 views

I {have/had} already read that magazine

I know that Past Perfect is used when we are talking about the situations that had happened before the moment of speaking in the past. But I have doubts about do I need to use Past Perfect in the ...
1 vote
0 answers
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Second conditional or past real conditional?

There is this quote from the show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey that confuses me: If it wasn't for Edmond Halley, Newton's great book would've never been conceived, nor written, nor printed. Now I ...
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2 votes
2 answers
150 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
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What's the difference to use past simple and past perfect tense when we use subjunctive mood in the past tense?

I'm reading Harry Potter. I found a difference in chapter 6 between the American version and the British version British Version: Half terrified, half furious, they acted as though any chair with ...
2 votes
2 answers
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Is this sentence correct? Future in the past confusion

"It didn't happen the way I had thought it would have happened." So, I used Past Perfect in the second part of the sentence to specify that the thought process had occurred before the actual ...
2 votes
1 answer
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Using past perfect after past simple with specific reference point/time

May I please ask if the sentence below is correct. On 20th December 2023 the company announced that the bargain has been completed. If yes, I do not understand why does not the author use "had&...
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0 answers
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Is past simple possible in "Today I learned that you (had) released an LP"?

I bought the single when it was out almost 4 years ago and since then I have always played it , still one of my faves . Today I learned that you (had) released an LP and but it seems to be sold out ...
3 votes
2 answers
242 views

Past perfect or past simple in these sentences

I know this is not really a new question but . . . I got a letter from John yesterday. We were at school but I lost touch with him because he was very ill and could not go to school anymore. ...
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1 answer
378 views

The past perfect tense is used in the main clause and in the subordinate?

I saw a sentence in the Collins English Dictionary: He had squirmed and wriggled and screeched when his father had washed his face. I rarely see a sentence which uses the past perfect tense both in ...
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108 views

Is “It was that year that...” grammatically correct?

I don't know if this sentence is grammatical and natural: I have written a novel. It was that year that I entered university, and finished Beauvoir's Le Deuxieme Sexe (1949) in the library. Would it ...
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1 answer
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usage of adverbial clauses

1)After you go through the book, please return it to me. 2) After you have gone through the book, please return it to me What is the difference in meaning of these two sentences? Which sentence ...
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Is it a good idea to use the past perfect in constructions like the one given in the example?

It came to me how I had yelled at her was wrong. So, I went to her and apologized. It came to me how I yelled at her was wrong. So, I went to her and apologized. In both the sentences, is it ...
1 vote
1 answer
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Usage of past perfect

I got up ate breakfast and went to work In this sentence everything is chronological, but can we still use past perfect to emphasise that something happened before for example I had gotten up ate ...
2 votes
1 answer
33k views

Difference between hadn't been and hasn't been when both express past events

In the following sentence: The house was painted last weekend, it ..... painted for years. should I use: A) hasn't been, or B) hadn't been? This is confusing. My reasoning is as follows: Hadn’t ...
2 votes
2 answers
117 views

Without context, is there any difference between "had been cancelled" and "was cancelled"?

I have an example sentence that goes like this: I rang the station, and they told me that the train had been cancelled. Is there any difference between that sentence and: I rang the station, and ...
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1 answer
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Can someone explain this conditional? (Past simple + past perfect)

I've just come across one conditional that I don't quite understand. If what she said was true, Marilyn had almost certainly left town last night. I understand that the first part of the sentence is ...
1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
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1 answer
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past perfect tense or past tense

The bus left an hour ago. It has been an hour since the bus left/had left. Could ‘had left’ be used instead of ‘left’ in thre second transformed sentence?
1 vote
1 answer
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How to combine “She was/wasn’t at home” vs “She had/hadn’t been at home" with “when I called her”?

When I called her she wasn’t at home.She wasn’t at home when I called her. When I called her she had been at home.She had been at home when I called her. Does had been at home mean that she was at ...
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1 answer
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Present/Past Perfect/Past Simple with "Until now"

So, I've gone through a good number of results that I got from BNCweb English language corpus, and can conclude that all these three tenses are used with "until now". If we consider the ...
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1 answer
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I had never tried pomegranate until now

The past perfect is used to talk about an earlier past situation of two past situations. Supposing I started trying pomegranate a few seconds ago. Would it be natural in this case to say "I had ...
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4 answers
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Should a past continuous be followed by past perfect continuous or past continuous?

"I was looking for my watch which had been stolen earlier" or should it be- "I was looking for my watch which was stolen earlier"
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1 answer
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In what question(s), I can reply a past perfect tense answer?

Can a simple past tense question have a past perfect tense answer? Q: Did you eat? A: Yes, I had eaten. Is the above correct? As I wonder if a past perfect tense can solely exist without a simple ...
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1 answer
1k views

which sentence is correct (dry or dried)?

Which is right? The clothes are almost dry or The clothes are almost dried Context: I washed my clothes yesterday. Today, before it rained, I took the clothes in. The said clothes are not wet and ...
1 vote
2 answers
569 views

When had you met him? vs. When did you meet him?

When I searched for "When had you met him" in Google Books, I found "Warren Commission: Complete Investigation & Commission's Report", which includes: Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you ...
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2 answers
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Use of "had" in a sentence

The earliest copyist engraver who had worked after Mantegna's pen drawing had simply copied the lines that Mantegna made with his pen. Mantegna made his drawing before it was copied. Then why is ...
1 vote
2 answers
114 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 ...
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1 answer
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What should I use (Past perfect or Past Simple)

I have the following sentences. And must choose on of the tences (Past Simple, Past Perfect, Past Continuos, Past Perfect Continuos): Sally Deedes was walking home late one night. She (be) to a ...

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