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I am a native English speaker. A Chinese roommate of mine who is an international student studying English asked me the following question:

The man who swam in the ocean drowned because he ....... to swim.

A. Hasn't learned B. hadn't learned C. wasn't learning D. didn't learn

I am leaning towards either A or D, but she says it is B because the guy died and it's double past or something which I have no idea.

What is the correct answer?

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B or D could be correct. The main thing is for verb tenses to agree with each other, and because "swam" is past tense, the following verb should be "hadn't" or "didn't." As far as which between those is correct, I would say they have slight nuances in interpreted meaning, but grammtically both are fine.

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