Questions about Past Perfect tense

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Difference in Meaning? [on hold]

What is the difference between these two sentences, and is the latter considered wrong? "I hadn’t known the bad news when I spoke to him." vs. I didn't know the bad news when I spoke to ...
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1answer
40 views

Past Perfect Problems

As a follow-up to my last post, here's another question concerning the past perfect tense: "I heard that you were born on a Sunday. What a coincidence!" Is this correct as it stands, or should ...
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1answer
26 views

Past Perfect vs. Simple Past Usage

I've been brushing up on the past perfect tense recently, and after reading the following sentence on a website, I feel like it's missing a key element: "Many progressives, who thought well of ...
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1answer
36 views

Past Perfect or Simple past?

* "I don't like this," I said. She hadn't heard me. * Can the "hadn't heard" be replaced with "didn't hear"?
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3answers
100 views

What should be the right tense in this sentence?

I read this sentence in a book recently: What I should have done is given him the... (Emphasis mine) I'm not a linguist but I thought it should be: What I should have done is ...
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6answers
246 views

“Didn't want to do X until Y happened” vs. “hadn't wanted to do X until Y happened”

Which answer is correct? Tony _______to have children until his little daughter was born. After she won his heart, he decided he wanted a big family. A. didn't want. B. hadn't wanted. ...
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3answers
60 views

Past perfect of “have”? [closed]

What is the past perfect of "have"? Is it "have", "had", or "had had"? And if it is "had had", doesn't it sound weird and awkward? when and how do I use it? Thanks.
3
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3answers
145 views

Past Perfect - Right or Wrong?

I am in an English course, in Cambridge School, in Lisbon, Portugal, and I am learning Past Perfect. I am also in a Pastry course, and today we had our first English lesson. The teacher wrote some ...
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4answers
97 views

What does 'had been long settled' mean?

The family of Dashwood had been long settled in Sussex. (My question) What does 'had been long settled' mean? Here my ideas.
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1answer
92 views

‘He decided’ vs. ‘He had decided’

He decided that I could have the apartment before he looked at my credit report. I found that sentence in an exercise, and I wonder why it isn't: He had decided that I could have the ...
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2answers
139 views

Present perfect or simple past in combination with past perfect?

I am grading student assignments and I ran into some unforeseen complications: Children have been suffering from post-traumatic stress and depression, more than six months after the city had been ...
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3answers
121 views

Does “had have been” exist?

Does "had have been" exist and what tense is it? I had have seen her
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2answers
51 views

past perfect usage with before [closed]

I am reviewing rules for past perfect tenses. I found the sentence below that is mentioned as example. You had studied English before you moved to New York. What is the difference in meaning ...
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1answer
176 views

Is “the photo I had taken” correct? [closed]

Which of the following sentences is correct: I've just uploaded the photo I had taken on Monday. I've just uploaded the photo I took on Monday. I guess that this sentence Yesterday I ...
0
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1answer
92 views

wouldn't have missed the day

I was watching a BBC sitcom. The scene is set in a wedding ceremony. In the opening of the speech of the father of the bride, he tends to be humorous, and thus he says: "Welcome to the wedding of ...
0
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3answers
125 views

“I had no sooner returned than I turned on” vs. “I have no sooner returned than I turn on”

Context: As a teacher who loves writing, I am interested in posting messages on the twitter. Which of the following options is correct? Please explain the reasoning. I am so interested in ...
0
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3answers
260 views

Is the use of Simple Past correct in “Although I didn't study for the test, I got a good grade”?

As both actions refer to the past, shouldn't we use Past Perfect to refer to the action that happened first (or rather didn't happen in this particular case)? That is, I am thinking the appropriate ...
5
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4answers
287 views

“I left before they had decided what to do” Why is 'decided' in the past perfect?

I left before they had decided what to do. Is this because this is a past version of "I leave before they have decided what to do"? Because "left" doesn't come before "decided".
1
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1answer
357 views

Two past perfect verbs in the same sentence even though sequence is indicated

A group of environmentalists helped direct several small sharks that had lost their way after they had swum through polluted waters to migrate South. Swimming comes before losing the way, yet both ...
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2answers
2k views

What does “Compound Tense” mean? [closed]

I have problems with learning about "Compound Tenses". Please help me.
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1answer
167 views

Past vs. perfect in present-tense narrative

When telling a story using the present tense, should events at a specific time in the past be recounted in the past perfect or in the past tense? For example: I know to writeJack entered the room and ...
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2answers
245 views

“present perfect” because “simple past”

Is this grammatically correct? The teacher has sent several students home because they cheated on the quiz. Or does it have to be like this? The teacher has sent several students home ...
0
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0answers
32 views

Before it had dissolved vs Before it dissolved [duplicate]

Is this correct plase? You should have done it before the substance had dissolved. Meaning that he should have done something before the process of dissolving finished. And if it was: You ...
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1answer
488 views

Past simple vs. past perfect

Here is an exercise from Intermediate Language Practice by Michael Vince: (Please note that I have replaced all the blanks in the exercise with the answers given in the answer key.) Put each verb ...
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1answer
174 views

Is it possible to use 'last … ' or any past simple adverbs with the past perfect?

To illustrate what I mean, I give the following example: I had drifted off to sleep last night.
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3answers
1k views

Has been run vs has been running

If I want to question someone about for how many hours a computer is turned on and running - and by the time of the question it is still running - which of the constructions below is more appropriate? ...
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2answers
776 views

“He told me that he [has/had] got temporary residence of England”

Telling a friend about another friend, Yesterday I met John. He told me that he has/had got temporary residence of England. Which one is fine here, has or had?
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2answers
101 views

“I (had) hated her for long before we split” — Simple Past or Past Perfect?

I'm not certain whether using 'had hated' here is totally correct or not. And if it is not, please explain why.
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2answers
646 views

Usage of the perfect gerund [closed]

Is there any grammatical error in this sentence: Having been up all night makes me tired Can I use having been/done... as subject?
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2answers
346 views

“It took a year until she got/had got/had gotten over it”

I am trying to figure out the correct use of perfect (past perfect) tenses: It took a year until she got over it. It took a year until she had got/gotten over it. Are both correct? If ...
3
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2answers
128 views

Should “If I ever had a philosophy” be in the past perfect?

Excerpted from The Hills of Triumph: If I ever had a philosophy with which to govern my social life, even long after learning that social is often at the detriment of personal, it would have been ...
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2answers
532 views

Quirks and limitations of Past Perfect

I know that English has two past tenses, when the second past (Pluperfect) is farther back in time then the other (Simple Past). Reading stories in English, I've discovered that many stories are ...
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1answer
160 views

Should “How long were you at work?” have a simple or a compound tense?

I would like to know, if the following sentence can ever be correct in any context? How long were you at work? Or it must be: How long had you been at work? For example: How long were ...
0
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1answer
398 views

Tricky Past Perfect Tense

I have been reading a lot about the Past Perfect tense recently and I think that I am getting more and more confused with the logic behind it the more I read about the tense. Many sources say that we ...
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2answers
349 views

Present Perfect Vs Present Perfect Continuous and Simple Past/ Past Perfect Vs Past Perfect Continuous [closed]

What is the difference in meanings of the following pairs of sentences? It's very confusing to me. a. I have lived in Paris for 4 years. b. I have been living in Paris for 4 years. a. I ...
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1answer
84 views

Past perfect usage?

In the following sentence, That task was not added to the TODO document because at that time it had not yet been added to the main document. What I mean here is that back then, during the TODO ...
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1answer
506 views

Is past perfect tense a must when reporting 2 things happened at different time in the past?

Is the word "had" necessary in the following text? This is a retrospective study covering the period from 2001 to 2010. Prospectively collected data of 500 consecutive patients who (had) received ...
2
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2answers
211 views

Past Perfect question forms with 'before' etc

A part of an entry about Past Perfect (424.1) in Swan's Practical English Usage 3rd Ed states that the past perfect is not necessary in the cases where we use conjunctions (e.g. after, as soon as) and ...
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1answer
257 views

“I been” or “I’ve been”? [closed]

In the famous song Every Breath You Take by The Police, Sting sings: Since you've gone I been lost without a trace… I admit that I am not some expert in English Grammar, but this "I been" ...
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2answers
12k views

she had been working / she had worked

I'm really curious what difference do native speakers conceive in these two sentences: (She joined our firm ten years ago.) She had worked for the previous five years with an advertising company. ...
0
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1answer
239 views

Using Past Perfect after an event

While reading a book, I came across some sentences that used past-perfect "after" an event had taken place. Actually, I've seen many books do this, so this must be the grammatically correct way, but ...
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1answer
601 views

“Had decided to call” vs.“had decided that we should call”

I have a question regarding using "had decided". I'm not sure if I can use either an infinitive form of a verb or a modal verb: We had decided to call each other when we are in danger. We had ...
0
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2answers
96k views

When do we use “had had” and “have had”? [duplicate]

I have seen several sentences in English where some writers have written had twice in a row. I am a bit confused about when the grammar calls for using had had. For example: I had had my car ...
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2answers
119 views

Present and past perfect dilemma

This sentence is giving me trouble: For several days I (have/had) not had the chance to see her until a few hours ago. I think had is correct because the time reference is a few hours ago, ...
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1answer
214 views

Simple past vs past perfect [duplicate]

Simple past and past perfect are so confusing... Please tell me if any of the sentences below make (or makes?) sense: 1) She had already opened the package before I had the chance to tell her not ...
0
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1answer
227 views

Reported Speech Tense Choice [closed]

Which of the followings sentences would be the best choice? The victim explained how he became addicted five years ago... His addiction is so bad that he is unable to keep a steady ...
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2answers
245 views

Past perfect sentence construction

This is an example sentence demonstrating the usage of past perfect: I checked with the supplier and they still hadn't received the contract. In this case the timeline rule works out as it ...
2
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4answers
298 views

Is “On January 17th our team had represented” correct English?

My team recently posted a status update, On January 17th, our team had represented [organization name] at [place]. Though I am unable to explain why (I have never formally learned tenses), I am ...
0
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1answer
1k views

“Had spent” vs. “has spent” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: where should we use has/have been and had been? [Company] had spent previous years a few blocks away from the new location. This sentence uses "had spent", but to ...
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2answers
674 views

“Had been engaged when they married” vs. “were married” vs. “had married”

Which of the sentences below are grammatically correct? The couple had been engaged for five years when they married. The couple had been engaged for five years when they were married. The ...