Questions about Past Perfect tense

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Past perfect continuous vs past perfect simple

It's a fill the gap type of question. I was sad when I sold my car. >>I had been having/I had had << it for a very long time. According to the author, past perfect simple (I had had) is ...
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22 views

Past perfect simple vs past perfect continuous

I am struggling with an example sentence (Fill the gap type of exercise): When I arrived, everybody was sitting round the table and talking. Their mouths were empty, but their stomachs were full. ...
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39 views

Reducing the usage of HAD in past-perfect constructs [on hold]

If I change the below excerpt In the secret study of Duchess Bianca Cappello, Agent Brüder had heard a sickening thud followed by a growing commotion in the Hall of the Five Hundred. He ...
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Definition of past perfect

A common definition that I get is: " past perfect refers to a time earlier than before now. It is used to make it clear that one event happened before another in the past." However, wouldn't that ...
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How to explain usage of past perfect in this case

I am having a hard time to understand the usage of past perfect in the following excerpt Deep in the bowels of the anchored vessel The Mendacium, facilitator Knowlton sat alone in his cubicle and ...
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34 views

Are past perfect and simple past interchangeable when describing events that happen for some time in the past?

I'm using an exercise from the Purdue Owl to understand tense usage. The exercise, which uses an excerpt from Alex Haley's Roots, can be found here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/exercises/2/22/51 ...
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Is this correct usage of the past perfect?

I noticed that her eyes had been dancing as she looked out at the scenery. It appeared in a state-sponsored high school leaving examination in Slovakia last week and it seems to have been adapted ...
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Past Perfect usage

I'm reading a book and found this odd usage of past perfect tense in a speech of a character: "He never feels as if he knows, neither does he feel as if nothing had happened". My English teacher (not ...
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Had + past participle or Would Have + past participle?

I would like to know which sentence is grammatically correct and why? If I am talking about a hypothetical case and I want to know what would happen if something have occurred. For example: I turned ...
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Why past perfect and not simple past was used in this case? [duplicate]

I'm watching "World War 2" show and narrator said: This was fertile ground for a new breed of rabble rousing right wing politicians. Among them Adolf Hitler. Hitler HAD BEEN born in Austria. He HAD ...
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88 views

past perfect + past participle or had + object + past perfect [duplicate]

I came across this sentence in Ray Monk's Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude, 1872-1921, Volume 1: On the contrary, she had just written — and had had accepted by The Nineteenth Century — a ...
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Usage of ‘had’ in past tense (Past perfect vs. Simple past) [duplicate]

Which of following is correct? If both are correct, then in which context can the second one be used? I met with an accident. I had met with an accident. Further, I learnt that in past ...
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how do we use past perfect tense? [closed]

I have a bit of confusion regarding the use of past perfect tense. I read it in a grammar book that we use past perfect tense when we are describing an action before an action in the past. I read the ...
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3answers
100 views

How to say “I had cleaned at home”? [closed]

I can't find a similar sentence in Google. I'm trying to say that I already have done cleaning in my apartments and in the process of it I ... etc. Is "A couple months ago, we had cleaned at the ...
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3answers
96 views

Structural Ambiguity in Past Perfect Tense Usage

As we all know, the past perfect tense is used to indicate an action that takes place before another one. I ran across this article on The New York Times website today, which begins with these ...
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The use of past perfect

''When I read Herodotus, I seem to hear some Eastern peasant narrate and “philosophize.” —Not for nothing had he traveled among the Scythians.'' E. M. Cioran, Drawn and Quartered Can someone ...
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Past Perfect - Which one is right?

Which variation of this sentence is correct? The meeting had gone on for hours and finished ten minutes ago when the partners left. The meeting had gone on for hours and had finished ten minutes ...
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2answers
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Using past perfect with conclusion words

Is the past perfect tense necessary when using conclusion words (so, therefore, thus)? Does the meaning of conclusory words imply that the verb contained in the conclusion occur after the verb in the ...
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1k views

“hadn't thought” vs. “didn't think”

Which is correct? It was late and I was trying to do your package quickly and hadn't thought that I could put everything together. or It was late and I was trying to do your package quickly ...
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A weird use of the Past Perfect tense

I'm reading an article in the NYT and it has the next sentence: A few victims had been assigned local detectives who asked them to send along any relevant information, and the women now shared ...
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5answers
121 views

“hadn't have killed” vs “hadn't killed”

Can someone help? "Dave killed Peter." Dave asked Susan, "why was Peter here?" Susan said, "Maybe he would have told you if you hadn't have killed him." Would there have been any difference if she ...
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72 views

Should you use past or present tense in a sentence if it ends in something like in olden and modern times?

Large amounts of gold weren’t worth much and merely had to be gotten ridden of in olden times like in modern times.' OR Large amounts of gold aren't worth much and merely have to be gotten rid of ...
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Past Simple vs Past Perfect 79

The company would demand a payment since she (missed)/(had missed) the last. 'had missed' is correct here because it happened during some time in the past before scecific event(deadline of period ...
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Usage of Past Perfect in “After something…”

I have been doing a couple of SAT and exam writing problems and I have noticed this following trend. Usually you have a couple of sentences like this: "After she had eaten her food she went ...
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Should I use Past Simple or Past Perfect in this sentence? [duplicate]

He (broke)/(had broken) his leg in March and had been in hospital for about five weeks. I think it should be (had broken) because it happened before he went to hospital. Is it correct?
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This is the first movie without excitement I've ever watched/I watched (I am not sure which is the accurate one)

Given two completely different sentences which are This is the first movie without excitement I've ever watched/I watched (I am not sure which is the accurate one) and This is the first movie I've ...
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“I have had to take a leave.” is it grammatically correct?

I am little bit confused about English grammar structure about have had to and its uses, and I need some clarification on the same. For example: I have had to take a leave. Is that grammatically ...
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2answers
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“I thought we talked…” vs. “I thought we had talked…” [duplicate]

I'm not a native English speaker and I find English quite difficult and confusing and one of the reasons is because of its tenses—which I find challenging and rewarding once everything becomes ...
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1answer
203 views

Past perfect or simple past with 'ago'?

As a non-native speaker but a teacher of the English language I've come across the following question reading a pupil's report: Should she use the simple past or past perfect in her sentence? Last ...
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871 views

Hadn't seen vs Haven't seen

Please can you tell me which is correct - haven't or hadn't? Situation: I send picture to my friend and she replies: "I hadn't seen it yet" Is it right use? Shouldn't be there "I haven't seen ...
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48 views

Past Perfect Continuous vs Past Continuous

Which one is correct? and why?: 1. Where had Robert been working since 4 o'clock yesterday? 2. Where was Robert working since 4 o'clock yesterday?
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2answers
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What's the difference between “I felt ill because I had drunk six cups of coffee.” and “I felt ill because I drank six cups of coffee. ” [closed]

I think both of them are correct. But i suspect there is a difference in meaning. I don't know what.
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1answer
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Past Perfect and Past Simple in AmE

I've recently been told that Past Perfect and Past Simple tenses are interchangeable in AmE. I know that it is possible to use the Past Simple tense instead of the Present Perfect one in AmE but have ...
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How are computers affecting spelling and usage? [closed]

Has spell check changed usage? I type the word "theatre" often; even here while I am typing it is underlined in red, yet Americans who direct, produce, or act in theatre prefer the older spelling. ...
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Past Imperfect with “died”

Is this sentence correct? "I wracked my brain, trying to put the timeline together. Just minutes before she’d died, Lara had gone to the flower shop down the road." Or just it be: "I wracked my ...
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90 views

Changing usage of past-perfect constructions in American and British usage

I notice a great many American speakers using the construction had loved as a preterite, that is, a simple past tense. I also hear the simple past tense used in instances in which I was taught to use ...
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153 views

Verb Tense question:

I'm writing in the past tense, but this sentence needs to be in past perfect. Is this correct? "When they had the chance, they had fought their way out." Or should it be: "When they'd had the ...
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2answers
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Felt + present/ past (back shifting ) [duplicate]

A few months back I met a celebrity and seeing his glamour I felt that I have/had no past or future. Which is to be used, had or have ?
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1answer
459 views

had not vs did not - past perfect [closed]

I recently watched a YouTube tutorial which talks about right usage of past perfect tense. For negative sentences in past perfect, a simple rule to frame sentences is - Subject + hadn't + main verb ...
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Past Perfect with only one verb (action) in sentence

I was taught that: The past perfect is used to emphasize that an action was completed before another took place e.g.: I was very tired as I hadn't slept well for several days But there are ...
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present perfect vs past perfect usage [duplicate]

In indirect speech present perfect tense is back shifted to past perfect tense. For example - John said, "I have written a letter." (Direct speech) John said that he had written a letter. (Indirect ...
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55 views

Past perfect tense vs present perfect tense usage [duplicate]

David got a message telling him that he has/had won the prize. Here which is to be used ? Has or had ?
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2k views

“I wish I didn't do” vs. “I wish I hadn't done”

Now I feel sick. I wish I [didn't eat/hadn't eaten] pork with cheese for dinner. I would use "hadn't eaten" as it was my dinner but "now I feel sick" confuses me.
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Past perfect and perfect continuous: a difference in meaning? [closed]

The pavement was wet, it had been raining. The pavement was wet, it had rained. What's the difference?
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Past perfect and simple perfect difference

This is an excerpt from a newspaper. In September 2014 the Delhi high court had restrained the institute from using words like...... Why are we using "had" here.. Can we use past indefinite?
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How do I distinguish simple past and past perfect with “should”?

One type of construction that has always bugged me is the distinction between should (past tense of shall), and its past perfect form. Assume a character, let's call him John: He lost the poker ...
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Reported speech: why is the past perfect the right answer here?

Please help me to find out the right answer. He said that they ______ each other for many years. a) know b) have known c) knew d) had known In the book I referred the right ...
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51 views

past perfect tense with when

"He had left the house when we arrived." I feel it is most certainly wrong, but I figured it's safer to ask the community here. To me it feels like it should be "He had already left the house ...
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Past Perfect Confusion

In a book these two forms are acceptable: Before a complete version of Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women appeared in 1880, the book had been published in two separate volumes. AND ...
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203 views

Past Perfect vs. Present Perfect

I am a new member on this site. So please guide me somewhere else if I post anything incorrect. I have been working on these two sentence corrections that ask about Present Perfect, Past Perfect and ...