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I´ve got the following problem. According to my teacher I can not use past perfect in this sentence:

Before 2000 I had visited Poland, Ukraine, France, The Netherlands.

To my ears it sounds ok and I can not imagine using past simple as the past perfect summarize all the places I had visited before the year 2000.

What´s your opinion on this? Which tense would you use?

Thank you very much!

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    It all depends on how you are framing the time and what narrative you are trying to convey. Simple past might be fine. Simple present could be fine, too, in storytelling. In other cases, before 2000 I would visit or before 2000 I did visit might be appropriate. Why does your teacher say you cannot use past perfect? – choster Dec 4 '15 at 20:07
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    Suppose your paragraph is: "Before 2000 I had visited Poland, Ukraine, France, and The Netherlands. In 2000, I visited 30 more countries". Then the past perfect is better than the simple past. Suppose your paragraph is: "Before 2000 I visited Poland, Ukraine, France, and The Netherlands. I haven't visited any foreign countries since then, but I have plans to go to India next year." Then the simple past is much better. – Peter Shor Dec 4 '15 at 20:10
  • Try "by 2000" instead of "before 2000*. The former states the ending point in time of the interval during which the visits occurred, while the latter refers to the interval itself. The past perfect needs an ending point. – Greg Lee Dec 4 '15 at 21:28
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The past perfect describes something that happened further in the past. It must have some (implied or explicit) relation to some other past event. "Before 2000" establishes the timeline, but it does not refer to a particular past event. You could instead say "Before new millennium started, I had already visited Poland, Ukraine, France, and The Netherlands." I would say that even this construction is still a little awkward sounding, though. I think "Before 2000, I visited Poland, Ukraine, France, and The Netherlands." is the clearest way of expressing the idea.

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