Questions tagged [past-vs-past-perfect]

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In the centuries after the group separated/had separated?

I came across a sentence which has confused me because it is written in simple past instead of past perfect. The sentence is: In the centuries after the group separated, they evolved in two separate ...
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conditional past tense vs past perfect

While watching a movie, there was a particular scene, when mother and daughter were sitting next to each other and mother said: If you called, you would have known about my health. I feel the above ...
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were already developed vs had already been developed

In a previous question, I got an answer that says that you can't write "the song had already been well rehearsed" because once it is well rehearsed you don't need to rehearse the song. Would ...
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48 views

I would never have understood what he meant/had meant if you hadn’t told me

Could someone help me understand what’s the difference between these two sentences? A. I would never have understood what he had meant if you hadn’t told me. B. I would never have understood what he ...
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In terms of appropriateness, do (since + past) and (since + perfect) have different meaning and usage?

This problem is discussed in Advanced Oxford Grammar and the book explains that different tenses are possible in sentences with since. By the way, I quoted the explanations and some examples below: ...
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Is this correct? (past tense vs past perfect)

I thought you would have picked him up from school. I had thought you would have picked him from school. In the first case "thought" verb on the timeline comes after the "picking"...
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"I haven't" "I hadn't" "I didn't" Which one is the best in the context?

Please imagine you liked Super Mario when you were a kid and that you are going to play it for the first time in a decade or two. Before playing it, you'd say "Oh, I haven't played Super Mario ...
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Simple past with the "by some point in the past" phrase. What to choose and when?

Why does it use the past simple tense rather than the past perfect (had been)? (1) Odenkirk confirmed by early September 2021 that he was back on set filming. The source: https://en.wikipedia.org/...
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Difference between was and had been

I would like to know how are the two sentences different in meaning: She was never bothered about the grandmother. She had never been bothered about the grandmother. What difference passive forms of ...
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Simple past and past perfect tense [duplicate]

Stories are mostly written in simple past tense.(let's call it past 1) To explain an event that happened even before past 1 we use past perfect tense.(let's call it past 2) Now if we want to add a ...
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2answers
229 views

past perfect with 'when' [duplicate]

Alice walked to the door when the doorbell rang Alice walked to the door when the doorbell had rung In (1) it is clear in which order the actions occured. The doorbell rang. Then, Alice walked to ...
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I wonder if the PP tense in some (or all) of these sentences is either optional or mandatory or wrong

Yesterday I watched the movie “Father”. I hadn’t expected it, but the movie proved to be a masterpiece. This morning I was surprised to learn that the 93d Oscar ceremony had been held last night, and ...
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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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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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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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"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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"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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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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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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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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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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"Joe told me how he spent time at a birthday party." "He told me how he had spent time at a birthday party." [duplicate]

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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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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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
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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
638 views

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
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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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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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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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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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"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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483 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
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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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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
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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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1answer
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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. July 2015: I organised my first family camp in ...
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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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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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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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174 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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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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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 ...