Questions tagged [past-vs-past-perfect]

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Before she became queen, she had always said that she had not wanted to marry. - Indirect reported speech

This is about indirect reported speech: Before she became queen, she had always said that she does not want to marry. Looks logical to me (since the time has already been introduced with past perfect)...
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The use of past perfect tense with "after"

This is a passage from "Never finished" by David Goggins. "I was hoping to find some answers that would help me change my life. That was what I told myself, anyway, as I crossed into ...
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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....
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"went, have gone, have been"?

I know that you use "have been to" instead of "have gone to" when you mention your past experience. But how about the case below? Italy was the first foreign country I went to. ...
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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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"could be" Vs "could have been" in this case

Question1: What caused the explosion? Answer1: The explosion could have been caused by a gas leak. (I think this is correct.) Answer2: The explosion could be caused by a gas leak. (I think this is ...
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Is it true that when we use 'before' with the Past Perfect tense, the action in the past simple happens first?

I've stumbled across the following rule in the grammar book 'My Grammar Lab': with before + past perfect the action in the past simple happens first. The following example has been given: I left ...
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"couldn't have done" VS "couldn't do" in this example

A: The original plan was to start from the tree line at the bottom of the mountain but the explorers couldn’t set up camp there because of the rain so they moved higher up. B: The Robertson team ...
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Is it possible to use "already" with the past simple in this example?

I did not remember that I already bought it. or I did not remember that I had already bought it. I think that past simple works as it is not a narrative and it is obvious that the action of buying ...
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she did it? is it correct

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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"He was employed since 2007"

"He was employed since 2007"(to date)".(is incorrect) "He was employed from 2007 to 2020".(is correct) "He had been employed since 2007".(is correct) I believe ...
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Is it gramatically correct to use "had been" and "had" in a complex sentence like this?

My question is about using "had" and "had been" in a complex sentence. A character is flashing back over something that happened about an hour ago, and I write: "I had been ...
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Past perfect not being used in casual speech?

Is it true that most people don't use the past perfect in casual conversation and the following monologue is usual for native speakers? "So I saw Maggie and I asked her why she didn't come to the ...
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How to use the past perfect continuous tense appropriately?

Which of the following is a correct sentence? He was waiting for two hours after she had arrived. or He had been waiting for two hours after she had arrived.
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Can we use "before" after "than" as in "than before" for a sentence in past tense

Do the following sentences have the same meaning? a. The economic situation is better than before. b. The economic situation is better than it used to be. c. The economic situation is better than it ...
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past and perfect tense

The young prince had a slender body smeared with sandal cream which had dried out; I understand that the incident is the narration of something that had happened. So "simple past - had a slender ...
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Isn't past simple in this exercise also correct?

The sentence is as follows: You see, when Elvis died, he _ (already, be) super famous for years. You have to use the verb in the bracket and put it into the right tense. I've used the past simple, ...
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Can past simple past works too

I have found these two sentences where past perfect seems to be obligatory. I was just wondering if past simple can work too. Here are the examples: I had set my alarm before I went to bed, but ...
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Past participle vs simple past in 2 clause sentence

I was doing a grammar exercise about clauses with past perfect and past simple. I got the answer, but I want to understand the reason. This is the question - The doorbell woke me up. When the ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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