Questions about Past Perfect tense

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2answers
782 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
164 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 ...
1
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2answers
692 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 ...
1
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1answer
261 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
528 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
430 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
89 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 ...
2
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1answer
604 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
votes
2answers
240 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
734 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" ...
-1
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5answers
20k 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. ...
1
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1answer
381 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
861 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
153k 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 ...
1
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2answers
144 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, ...
-1
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1answer
278 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
289 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
274 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
365 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
2k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
875 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 ...
1
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1answer
870 views

How to write past perfect forms of two verbs in one sentence

(1) Alex had quit his job and started a company before he won the lottery. (2) Alex had quit his job and had started a company before he won the lottery. I want to indicate that the act of ...
0
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1answer
7k views

When to use 'had been' + past participle of the verb

I read the sentence below in a news article: "The couple had been engaged since the summer," her spokeswoman said in a statement. Why was "had been engaged" used in this sentence. Is it wrong to ...
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1answer
413 views

Past vs Past Perfect

While writing a paper for my English class, I couldn't decided whether past or past perfect tense was needed. It's basically about how a guy whose house is destroyed because the government wants to ...
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2answers
525 views

Simple past vs. past perfect

Which is correct to use in the following example, simple past or past perfect? We were completely in the dark after the wind blew the candle out. We were completely in the dark after the wind ...
1
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1answer
630 views

When not to use past perfect?

In a recent question: Past perfect or past simple in combination with present perfect? the asker presented three options. I have examined the document you gave me and... I have examined the ...
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2answers
9k views

Usage of had in past tense

Being a non native speaker of English I am not sure about the usage of had. In my academics I have learned that had is only used to show that something happened prior to some event in the past ...
1
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3answers
706 views

Past perfect or past simple in combination with present perfect?

Suppose I received a document from my colleague, studied it and then gave him feedback in a letter. How should I construct the following sentense? I have examined the document you gave me and... ...
1
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1answer
427 views

How to understand perfect tense? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another? I have a difficult time to understand perfect tense. I don't see the different for the following two ...
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1answer
685 views

Replacing past perfect tense with past tense

For had fallen in a when-clause, can the past perfect tense be replaced with the past tense? Easily the most boring class was History of Magic, which was the only one taught by a ghost. ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Usage of 'had been' or 'were'

I was doing an exercise. I completed the sentence as following. If you were my child, I would have demanded that such an irresponsible teacher be fired. But the answer given in the book is ...
2
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5answers
3k views

“I knew him for…” or “I had known him for…”?

I'm writing a short story, and I'm unsure about the right tense to use. The first two sentences are: I knew Mr. Brown for exactly 15 minutes. He had met me at the entrance and was now ...
1
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1answer
1k views

“At this time yesterday, I had gone” vs. “by this time yesterday, I had gone”

At this time yesterday, I was going to work. [Past Continuous] I am very sure that the above sentence is 100% correct. (Reference: http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/pastcontinuous.html.) But I ...
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2answers
3k views

Past Perfect sentences with “before”

I had seen a documentary on the Whydah before we visited it in Providence. Sir Francis Drake had worked for the British Navy before he became a pirate. These two sentences seem quite awkward to ...
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0answers
18 views

Ending verbs with 'nt' in the past tense [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do you use “learnt” and when “learned”? It was my understanding that ending verbs with "t" / "nt" in the perfect tense was merely to accommodate irregular verbs ...
1
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3answers
460 views

“We had entered” vs “we entered” [closed]

I am not sure whether we can use two different instances of had in the following sentence: When we had entered the ground, the circus had already begun. According to my understanding, it ...
2
votes
3answers
619 views

Participle as verbal adjective

I came across the following: As he had been deceived by his friends he lost all hope. He was deceived by his friends and so he lost all hope. Deceived by his friends, he lost all hope. ...
4
votes
1answer
8k views

using had had in a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What does “had had” mean? How does this differ from “had”? I had had so many interruptions this morning that I scarcely had done any work or I ...
3
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5answers
212 views

Right tense for conditional event in nondescript time?

What is the right tense to describe an event that might have occured, be occuring or occur in the future, if (not) for something that happened in the past? Unike, in the examples, which anchor the ...
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2answers
545 views

“His hopes had not materialized”/“have not materialized”/“have not been materialized”

Which one is preferable in following sentence? His hopes of getting through the I.A.S. had not materialized till today's date. His hopes of getting through the I.A.S. have not materialized ...
3
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3answers
611 views

Correct tense for events which happend long time ago but still have direct connection with present time

Suppose that a man disappeared twenty years ago and I haven't had a notice about him since then. What should I say to my interlocutor if I want to tell him about this story? You know, Harry has ...
3
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2answers
286 views

Perfect tenses in conditionals

Why does one sometimes use the perfect tense in conditions of the first type? Say, I will do something if you have done something. I did something when he had done something. instead of, ...
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1answer
1k views

Past Perfect and gerund vs. Past Perfect and Simple Past [closed]

When using the past perfect tense to say something happened before something else, is it correct to use the gerund form (as opposed to the past tense) to express the latter event? For example, is it ...
1
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3answers
744 views

past perfect tense with the conjunction “and”

Among those on his right was Bob, the guy that had days earlier started the lease and so began the first... OR Among those on his right was Bob, the guy that had days earlier started the ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

“I had thought there was” Vs. “I thought there was”

What's the difference between these sentences: I had thought there was something wrong with the tape recorder. I thought there was something wrong with the tape recorder. Would it be more ...
2
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2answers
694 views

Past perfect sentence in “I would have killed the snake if I had hit him…”

Is the following a correct past perfect sentence? I would have killed the snake if I had hit him hard with a stick.
1
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3answers
521 views

Past perfect in the specific sentence

I am not sure about using the past tenses here: Yesterday I saw my friend who had just finished the university and wanted to go out. Is that correct? I am not sure about the past perfect but ...
2
votes
2answers
583 views

Using modal verb 'could' for simple past

If I form a sentence like: I could read the book if I hadn't wasted my time. Would it be considered a past perfect sentence with the part I could read the book being in simple past for context ...
5
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4answers
191 views

Can I separate events with period to form past perfect?

Can I say the following? The doorbell rang. He had finished his meal. I know I could join the sentences into one sentence to get the same meaning. I want to know if this would be correct if I ...
2
votes
1answer
728 views

present tense with past perfect?

I came across something really strange today in class. Because it was an anecdote, the story changed from past to present. Then, in the same sentence, the writer used the past perfect tense with the ...