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Hi there can any native speaker please tell me the difference between these two sentences. I have seen "past perfect" is rarely used In english. I know the first sentence is correct but in movies, conversations "simple past" is used instead of "past perfect". Does it sound natural to your ears?

1- That was the best movie I had ever watched until I watched The dark knight.

2- That was the best movie I ever watched until I watched the dark knight.

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As with many uses of perfect constructions in English, the difference is not in grammaticality, or in the objective events describe, but in how the speaker is choosing to relate those events in time.

If the speaker says I had ever watched, they are implicitly setting a temporal focus at a point in the past, from which they are looking backwards. If the say I ever watched they are not doing so: they are not setting any particular temporal focus.

In this case there is an explicit temporal focus in the past, the time when they watched The Dark Knight, so there is very little difference between the two. But in other cases there might be more difference.

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According to https://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/lessons/past-simple-or-past-perfect, past perfect is supposed to be used when referring to an action that happened before another action. In this case, you are referring to two actions. The first being that you watched a movie. The second action being that you will watch The Dark Knight. This is an unusual tense change, as it jumps from past to future. Saying, "until I watch The Dark Knight" suggests that you haven't watched The Dark Knight yet, but you already know it is going to be the best movie you have ever watched. However, because you are talking about a past and future tense in the same sentence, you should use simple past according to the link provided above. So, sentence two would be better. However, if you changed the sentence to, "That was the best movie I had ever watched until I watched The Dark Knight," then it would make more sense to use the past perfect because the word "watch" was changed to "watched."

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