Questions tagged [past-vs-past-perfect]

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Past perfect for two simultaneous events “Her business had proved that it was possible to be sustainable and profitable at the same time.”

Could anyone please explain me why we use past perfect instead of past simple before “that” in the sentence below? As I understand, we use past perfect in a sequence of events to show that the action ...
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Questions related to tense

I am kind of confused.... Are the two sentences below the same? Let’s pretend that none of this had ever/never happened. Let’s pretend that none of this have ever/never happened. If it’s different, ...
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1answer
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Are perfect and simple tenses interchangeable in these examples? Do they have any difference?

Sci-fi movies earned the most income each year between 2006 and 2010. Sci-fi movies had earned the most income each year between 2006 and 2010. It is forecast that car ownership will decline by 10% in ...
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present perfect vs past tense usage difference [closed]

The house has belonged to him since his birth. The house belonged to him since his birth. Which sentence is correct? If both are correct what is the difference in meaning between these two sentences?...
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Is the past perfect correct here?

From a movie. Two cyclists talking after a short race. A: How is that for slow? B: You gotta give me a second chance! I'll race you through the tunnel. A: You're on. Hadn't had enough? (meaning I ...
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past perfect or past simple with work

is there any difference between these sentences? I had worked hard so I needed a break I worked hard so I needed a break
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Is “had” necessary in this sentence?

You failed 9 subjects before you graduated from college. I read up that its necessary for this to become "you had failed" since there are 2 past tense verbs, and because the "had" ...
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“I tried to make an order but couldn't pay because you*had not accepted paypal payment yet.”

I tried to make an order but couldn't pay because you had not accepted paypal payment yet. Will it be ok to use the present perfect or past simple. Is it possible to use yet with past simple? I ...
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1answer
25 views

“Why didn't he tell her what had happened?” “He had fallen on the floor”

Sometimes I am not sure whether or not I need to use the past perfect or leave it out completely. Why didn't he tell her what had happened? Why didn't he tell her what happened? (Are both of these ...
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1answer
29 views

“I was waiting at the train station when the rain had stopped.”

In the following sentence: I was waiting at the train station when the rain had stopped. Is it correct to use the present continuous with the past perfect, or should I use the past simple? I was ...
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past perfect tense usage — I had called you yesterday before leaving

Is the sentence below correct? I had called you yesterday before leaving.
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1answer
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Using 'before' and 'after'

I am not quite sure yet but is it mandatory to use the Past perfect when clarifying which action occurred first by using signal words such as "before" and "after", or would it be ...
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1answer
73 views

Why don't these sentences use the same tense?

It turned out that what happened was different from what I had expected in my mind. The resultant situation is something that happened later in time than when you made predictions about the same. I ...
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1answer
36 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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1answer
78 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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1answer
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“Joe told me how he spent time at a birthday party.” “He told me how he had spent time at a birthday party.”

My friend (let's say he's named Joe) is telling me how he spent time at a birthday party. Two days later I want to talk about that to my other friend (let's say Ryan). What's the right way? Joe told ...
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Past tense VS Past perfect in Narrative speech

1)She told me that she had been thinking of helping him but had changed her mind. 2)She told me that she   was thinking of helping him but changed  her mind. Are both sentences correct? If they are, ...
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2answers
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Was / Had been under the impression

I am writing about my childhood. Which tense should I use? I only played outdoor games. My friend once took me to his home and made me play the video game Mario. A.Before I played Mario, I was under ...
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2answers
1k views

Why “I hadn't noticed” instead of “I didn't notice”/“I haven't notice”?

I see that I hadn't noticed is commonly used by native speakers, more than the pair I didn't notice and I haven't noticed ,in the following example People are being more careful nowadays, don't you ...
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1answer
27 views

Past Progressive or Past Perfect Progressive? [duplicate]

In a past narrative, I often see people using Past Perfect Progressive for things that are still true, which is odd to me, as the Past Perfect Progressive is an action that started in the past and ...
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2answers
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What’s the different between says and said

Ken says that he lived many years in England. Ken said that he had lived many years in England. What’s the different between this two sentences? I know one is present tense and the other is past ...
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3answers
232 views

have been accusing vs have been accused

I am learning Academic English. At one lesson, I found the following sentences: Some people have been accusing X of starting it. X have been pushing for more efforts to prevent this possibility. I ...
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2answers
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I've lost my key, but I found it just now

Are the two sentences correct? I've lost my key, but luckily I've found it again. I've lost my key, but luckily I found it just now.
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1answer
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Is the sentence clear enough without past perfect

In fact Rich sent all the goods he had on hold for me but he forgot to include in the parcel the book and the problem is that he moved just after sending the goods and did not take it with him. ...
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1answer
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Why “His dad joined” instead of “His dad had joined”?

Why past simple "joined", not past perfect "had joined" in this sentence: His dad joined the army before he was born. This sentence is from a course of the A.J. Hoge. My opinion is: "......
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1answer
37 views

“Had left” or “left ”

Can we use this sentence: He hadn't talked to his parents since he left school. instead of this one: He hadn't talked to his parents since he had left school.
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Some doubts about the usage of Past Perfect in these context

I am encountering some problems filling these space in this exercises: A: Have you seen Matt recently? B: Matt? He’s in Canada. A: Really? How long has he been in Canada? B: About a year now. ...
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1answer
247 views

tense and aspect: had imagined or imagined?

In the following passage, could "had ever imagined" be replaced by "ever imagined"? Any difference of meaning? More than ever before, our language and our ideas about language are changing as ...
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1answer
158 views

Past Perfect Continuous vs Past Simple

My teacher says that it's not correct to answer the test "How long (rain) yesterday?" as "How long did it rain yesterday?" She says there is only one way to do the problem with "how long" in the past ...
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sequence of tenses in subordinate sentences

The UK could flourish once the shackles of EU membership were released. or The UK could flourish once the shackles of EU membership had been released.
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1answer
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Past Perfect or Perfect Tense?

I have some questions regarding past perfect tense, as I am still quite confused about the usage. Which one of the below is correct? The books that her parents got her had not made her an ...
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1answer
17 views

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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1answer
49 views

Can I use only past simple in this sentence?

I have a sentence which I think is fine. But maybe I should change the second part from past simple to past perfect. It’s an entry on my website. July 2015: I organised my first family camp in ...
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1answer
68 views

What is the correct way to indicate a state which lasted before an action?

I have difficulty understanding the usage of the English Past Tenses. Here's the first sentence and a picture which shows the state and the action in time: I was kind to them for a month before I ...
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1answer
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Is using Past Perfect obligatory?

Here are, suppose, two sentences: Before she went to college, Bridget waited tables to save up for her tuition. Before she went to college, Bridget had waited tables to save up for her ...
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“No sooner had … than” and “No sooner did … than”

Are both of the following sentences grammatically correct? No sooner had the committee made the announcement than everyone started complaining No sooner did the committee made the announcement ...
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1answer
755 views

Past perfect: “had heard”

I had heard they started training exercises outside of town a few days ago. Why (had heard) not heard ? Don't we use pp to talk about something that happened before another action in the same ...
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1answer
75 views

Did you hear that or Have you heard that

Could you please help me to understand which sentence sounds more correct (and explain why), or suggest your own version? Did you hear that John has made a fortune with his new business? Have you ...
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1answer
65 views

Tenses in 'Did I tell you what happened to me?'

Why can't we use Past Perfect in the second clause of the sentence 'Did I tell you what happened to me?' if the second clause happened before 'Did I tell you' As far as I know, we use Past ...
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1answer
29 views

Text dexcribing my military service - not sure if correct, grammar-wise [closed]

I could use some help :) I know that you don't proofread, but I don't know where to ask. I had been recruited to the Military on the 20th of October, 2013. As a combat service supporter in the ...
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1answer
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After she had completed her home work, she went to bed

After she had completed her home work, she went to bed. Is the sentence correct or not? Is it had completed or have completed?
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2answers
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Past perfect tense and simple past [duplicate]

When Jack entered the room, I had not recognized him because he lost so much weight. For above sentence,I use past perfect tense(had not recognized),because there were two situations in the past. ...
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2answers
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Past Simple without specified time

I saw the following two sentence: The oldest person I met was 90 years old. Is it correct? Or would it be better as: The oldest person I've met was 90 years old.
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3answers
103 views

Which tense to choose: Past Simple or Past Perfect?

Which is correct: We didn't play football yesterday. The match was canceled/had been canceled. I think was canceled is correct, but the second? - I'm confused. Maybe firstly the match was ...
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1answer
738 views

What is the difference between “introduced”, “had introduced” and “have introduced”?

Although Immanuel Kant, one of the greatest thinkers in the history of philosophy, --- many pieces of technical terminology to articulate the themes of his critical philosophy, perhaps none --- more ...
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Is it “The last book that I have read” or “The last book that I read”?

Today we had an assignment where I had to write about the latest book that I read. Is it more correct saying "The last book that I have read" or "The last book that I read" ?. Then, is it correct to ...
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1answer
94 views

What makes more sense in English “i had had breakfast then went to school” or “i had breakfast then went to school”?

i am so confused right now , they both look the same to me as far as i understand past perfect is used to talk about an action that was completed before some point in the past so : "i had had ...
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1answer
56 views

Proper use of Past Perfect Vs Past Simple [duplicate]

English is my second language. I've learned all tense rule. Problem is every day I'm facing a huge confusion between Past simple and Past Perfect. According to grammar rule, we can you use Past ...
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1answer
65 views

Past Simple/Perfect + never

In an English textbook I come across an exapmle without any context He went to Africa and never came back What does it mean? We use Present Simple + never when we are talking about a habit, a ...
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Is the sentence grammatically correct? (Concerned with tense usage)

Since I can understand the English dialogue without much difficulty, there’s no reason not to enjoy the films in the way the film-makers intended. I'm not sure whether I should use "intended" or "...