I had come to these conclusions before ever I had entered his room.

Why are there two past perfect verbs in this entene? Is it the same as saying:

I had come to these conclusions before ever I entered his room.


I came to these conclusions before ever I had entered his room.

  • The story is told in the past tense. At this point in the story, entering the room was already in the past. Thus "had entered". Also, coming to the conclusions was also in the past. Thus "had come".
    – GEdgar
    Feb 12, 2016 at 13:46

2 Answers 2


The past perfect (pluperfect) is used when something earlier to the events being described is recorded. For example:

By the time Charles arrived we had eaten dinner. To Charles' arrival is in the past, the fact of our already having eaten dinner is in the past perfect.

Now let's suppose we are referring to something that happened after Charles' arrival. Let's say the ceiling caved in. Then it becomes.

At the moment when the ceiling caved in, Charles had already arrived, and we had eaten dinner.

So Charles's arrival, because it happened prior to the matter now being referred, also gets recorded in the past perfect.

  • Ok, but in the very first sentence there is no past simple tense like "caved in" in your example.
    – doggo
    Dec 14, 2015 at 10:47
  • 1
    But there may have been an earlier one in which the past had been used. Note the reference to these conclusions. The previous past reference does not have to be in the same sentence. It doesn't even have to have been expressed as long as it is implied in the conversation. .
    – WS2
    Dec 15, 2015 at 7:01

We use the construction I have done when we are saying

I have not done it yet.
I have never done it before.

So in the above sentence the meaning of yet and never is hidden in ever.

For this reason, past of I have entered is I had entered.

The meaning is that the conclusion was there even before his first ever entrance into the room. I had come is now matching the past perfect since it had happened before. Perfect of past perfect is past perfect.

  • Maybe, in the sense that you have changed the present tense to the past: I have come to these conclusions before ever I have entered his room. The structure I have never done, I have ever done is used for emphasis. The best I have ever done. As quietly as I have ever done anything. I have never seen such beauty.
    – user98900
    Dec 14, 2015 at 12:02

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