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Questions tagged [past-vs-past-perfect]

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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. Please help. July 2015: I organised my first family ...
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1answer
57 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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60 views

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
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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
32 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
45 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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66 views

Which tense is correct when we use 'when'? Had given or gave?

He justified his crime by saying that his friend had given/gave him false hope when he was suicidal.
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26 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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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
44 views

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
57 views

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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2answers
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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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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
41 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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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
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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 "...
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Past perfect vs past simple problem in in Grammer-in-use excercise 9.4

I have one problem in unit 9 (page 19) in Advanced grammar in use. When Jenny ____ into the hall, everyone ___ cheering. When Jenny ____ that the children were asleep, she ____ out to the ...
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1answer
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Why is past simple used in this sentence when it happened before?

Philippe Siegfried called me one day in February to announce that he had unpublished titles of his group PANORAMAS. It was Emmanuelle Jean-Luc Taccard's wife (LUCAS TROUBLE, TANGO LÜGER ...) who ...
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1answer
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Confusing Usage of Perfect Tenses

Actually, as you may guess, I'm not a native English speaker, in fact it's third language that I've leaned. Persian and Azari Turkish are my mother tongues. By the way, I have to get an IELTS cert and ...
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1answer
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There are two different times so isn't it necessary to use past perfect instead of past simple with 'use'

Capital expenditure of their company in the year 2001 was clearly below the spending in the year 2000 when they used about half the investments for the concept conversion. There are two years 2000 ...
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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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121 views

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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172 views

Who had always wanted to do it

We have such a sentence: I found some people who always wanted to walk in the forests. Is it correct? I mean the second part has to be in Past Simple or Past Perfect like: I found some people ...
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1answer
60 views

Past Simple or Past Perfect in the context of something having been done by the exact time yesterday

Here goes a sentence: Alice said that she had translated three articles by five o’clock yesterday. My question is as follows: If what Alice exactly said was "I had translated three articles by ...
2
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1answer
79 views

The difference between past tense and had pp?

Less well known at the time was the fact that Freud had found out, almost by accident, how helpful his pet dog Jofi was to his patients. He had become a dog­lover in later life when Jofi was given to ...
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2answers
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How is “had been” used in English sentences? [duplicate]

In writing a paragraph, how can we use "had been" sometimes, but on other occasions we can use "was" rather than "had been"? So, how do I decide which to use?
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1answer
74 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 ...
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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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1answer
126 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 ...
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1answer
55 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 ...
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1answer
216 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. ...
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1answer
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Is the past perfect necessary when one action clearly precedes another?

When I describe two actions in the past, one of which precedes the other, when is the Past Perfect more preferable than the Past Simple? Jenny put on a mask after I put on goggles. Jenny put ...
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2answers
87 views

Is it possible to use past simple instead of past perfect in “…all the washing up HAD BEEN DONE…”?

There's the following sentence in my Grammar book: It was a lovely surprise to find that all the washing-up HAD BEEN DONE while I was asleep. The only answer mentioned in the answer key is past ...
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1answer
41 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 ...
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1answer
201 views

“worse than it was” or “worse than what it was”

Don't blame me. I didn't make it worse than it was. This sentence sounds fine to me, as it looks analogous to another utterance I know to be idiomatic "It's worse than it looks". But I wonder if ...
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1answer
57 views

Mixed tense in one sentence

Jack said,"Ella, have you thought that I had been dead?" Jack said,"Ella, have you thought that I was dead?" Jack met Ella again for the first time in 20 years and asked this question to find out if ...
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1answer
56 views

Would it be possible to change past perfect into simple past

She invited me to dinner. But it _____ two years since I _____ to her house. So I lost my way. The answer is "was", "had gone" but would it be possible to change "had gone" into "went" because if ...
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1answer
267 views

tense sequencing - I had forgotten … what I learned

I saw the following sentence at http://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/-Come-Back-and-Get-Back- : I had forgotten a lot of what I learned about music, but it's all coming back to me now. The past ...
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2answers
3k views

I was happy because I (had) passed my final exam

Is this sentence correct: I was happy because I passed my final exam. Or is it better to use the Past Perfect: I was happy because I had passed my final exam.
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3answers
400 views

Should this reported speech use “was” or “had been” to convert “was”?

When you have a sentence in the direct speech talking about someone’s age such as “a producer discovered me when I was 13” How does it change into the reported speech? he said a producer had ...
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3answers
9k views

“Did you see the match?” or “Have you seen the match?”

When I was chatting with a friend he asked me "Did you see the match?" I know this’s completely right, but, it came to my mind was that wrong to say "Have you seen the match?" instead.
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1answer
226 views

Every time we (had) moved, we started from scratch

I'm not sure whether I use double past simple or past perfect + past simple in this sentence: Every time we had moved, we started from scratch. vs Every time we moved, we started from scratch. ...
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2answers
81 views

Use of tenses (Past Simple vs Past Perfect)

Getting ready for the test I found this task The lucky coincidence allowed them to take a trip together and Angela loved traveling! More than that, she ________ (prepare) a list of the most ...
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1answer
603 views

I have been away or I was away

Let's say I have just returned from a week's holiday. Can I say "I have been away for a week" or do I have to say "I was away for a week"? Or are both possible?
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1answer
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Why is the past simple used in one narration tenses example, and the past perfect is used in the other?

Last year, I spent my winter holidays in Paris at Aunt Sandra's house. I have never visited Paris with a tour guide like her. It was very interesting. I saw the Monet exhibition. What a wonderful ...
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2answers
185 views

“They had lost all hope” vs. “They lost all hope”

The Napoleonic War had begun in 1816. When it ended, they had lost all hope. OR The Napoleonic War had begun in 1816. When it ended, they lost all hope. Which one of these sentences is ...