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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 sentence should be:

Although I hadn't studied for the test, I got a good grade.

Am I wrong? Why?

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    There is not always -- more correctly, most of the time there is not -- a single choice that presents itself as the only possible way to say something. In this case, either one will do; and in a situation like that, native English speakers normally make the simpler and more easily-produced choice. – John Lawler Dec 10 '13 at 21:01
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The use of the past perfect form "hadn't studied" is an appropriate way to indicate its sequence in the past, occurring before the second simple past verb "got."

However, this sequential context is already present throughout the sentence, whether past perfect or simple past is used. Studying, as an act of preparation, has inherent information about sequence. The conjunction "although" indicates a pre-existing establishment of seemingly contradictory fact, which also provides information about sequence. It is clear that the studying occurs before the return of results of the test, and so therefore it could be argued that the past perfect is unnecessary or perhaps even redundant.

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As GBorreson pointed out, the Past Perfect is used to show a sequence of two past events, that is, it is 'the past in the past'. Here, however, the writer has opted to put both sentences in the Simple Past as opposed to explicitly showing their order. The nature of cause and effect here is totally clear and doesn't require the Past Perfect, but doesn't rule it out.

Your sentence,

Although I hadn't studied for the test, I got a good grade.

is totally fine, and also quite often said by natives. However it isn't the obligatory construction. Here is another example:

Before he came, I prepared dinner.

This is semantically identical to:

Before he came, I had prepared dinner.

Although, in the second one, the sequence is far more inherent.


I hope that sheds some light on your problem!

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This is very much right to indicate the first happened past incident in past perfect tense and recent one in past tense. I fully agree with this;

"Before i reached the railway station, they train had started"

Hope you now clear

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