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When we talk about past events, I understand that the first action happened should be in past perfect tense, and the second action should be in past tense. What if the sentence has one verb only? When we use a noun after the word "before", what tense should we use?

  1. She didn't say a word before her death.
  2. She hadn't said a word before her death.
  3. She hadn't said a word before she died.
  4. She didn't say a word before she died.
  5. They made a plan before the attack.
  6. They had made a plan before the attack.
  7. They had made a plan before they attacked.
  8. They made a plan before they attacked.

I believe 3 and 7 are correct, and 4 and 8 are wrong. What about the sentences 1,2,5 and 6, when "before" is used as a preposition?

Thank you very much.

  • Sorry but 3, 4, 7 and 8 are all correct; it's just that the pairs have different meanings, dependent more on the speaker's point of view. More than that would really belong in an lengthy lesson, even only half as many examples to examine. – Robbie Goodwin Jan 25 '18 at 21:34

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