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This question already has an answer here:

which option is correct in the following sentence?

I ___ for my exam all morning so I was really upset when I didn't do well.

a) revised

b) had revised

I would say that both options make sense. How can I understand whether I have to use past perfect (which I use for a sequence of events which happened in the past, therefore I had revised for my exam and I was really upset) or past simple (which I use for something that happened in the past, therefore I revised for my exam...) in such cases?

Does that so (so I was...) in the sentence make me somehow understand that I should opt for past simple, which claims to be the correct answer?

Thank you for your attention!

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, tchrist Feb 4 '18 at 21:23

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There is no proof here except actually writing them out and seeing logically that this is a "speaker's choice" issue. The two are different in emphasis:

1) I revised for my exam all morning [that is over and done with] so I was really upset when I didn't do well. [the second clause is the consequence].

I revised for my exam [a thing that is finished] and "was upset when I didn't do well", also past. etc.

COMPARED TO:

2) I had revised for my exam all morning so I was really upset when I didn't do well.

In the second instance, you as speaker want to show a temporal sequence of activities, as it were. The implication is that you "had revised for your exam all morning" [prior to taking it]. had revised → took exam - was upset by that.

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