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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1answer
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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2answers
45 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
58 views

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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2answers
2k 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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1answer
27 views

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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1answer
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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6answers
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Is this correct: “I'd have to have had…”

This sentence makes my head hurt a bit, and it doesn't seem right, but perhaps you guys could help me sort it out. "If I would've gone to Canada, I'd have to have had some kind of winter gear."
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2answers
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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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2answers
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Why do people sometimes use the past perfect form of a verb when the past would suffice? (e.g. “you had mentioned”)

I noticed that my American friends tend to use the past perfect form when they use the verb mention in its past form, almost despite of the context of the sentence. I hear them say "you had ...
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1answer
892 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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1answer
32 views

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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1answer
90 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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35 views

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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2answers
57 views

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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1answer
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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2answers
70 views

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
101 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
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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
1k views

Present perfect or past perfect with “yesterday”?

I have marked those books yesterday. I had marked those books yesterday. Which sentence is correct? I know that: The present perfect is used when an action begins in the past and continues ...
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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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1answer
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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1answer
49 views

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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1answer
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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3answers
2k views

Should the past perfect be eschewed?

The past perfect serves a purpose: When describing things that happened in the past, it allows us to discuss things that happened before (i.e., in the past’s past). However, a procession of had, had, ...
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3answers
53 views

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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2answers
662 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
909 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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3answers
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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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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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1answer
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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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167 views

“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
318 views

“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
206 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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1answer
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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4answers
23k views

“Get used” vs “got used”

I'm learning English grammar with the book by Raymond Murphy: English Grammar in Use [3rd Edition]. In the exercises for unit 61, I have to complete the sentences using used to. I can't understand why ...
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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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2answers
528 views

Can “would rather” be followed with a past perfect?

Can "would rather" be followed with a past perfect? Can it be used to express a regret, a wish the past had been different? Example taken from First Certificate Language Practice by Michael Vince, ...
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1answer
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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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2answers
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Difference between Present P. and Past P. for completed actions

I am always get into dilemma situation whether to use "I have" or "I had" for immediate past event. For example: I have discussed with you or I had discussed with you The discussion ...
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1answer
426 views

Difference in meaning between: “It had been wrapped up…” and “It was wrapped up…”

I read a paragraph in a book: Three months passed and then one morning, he found his wallet outside his front gate. It had been wrapped up in newspaper and contained half the money he had ...
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2answers
290 views

Past Simple or Present Perfect to express an antecedent event

We _ Harold for three years before he died. a) knew. b) have known. Which answer should I use in my exam question? I have doubts, as I want to choose a, but a friend of mine advises me to choose ...
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5answers
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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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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 ...