2

This would probably be considered a duplicate, but I looked at the other similar questions and still can't figure out what to do in this instance. Would simple past or past perfect be better here?

I didn't understand how it was possible to miss something I never had.

or

I didn't understand how it was possible to miss something I had never had.

1

The two sentences apply to different circumstances.

The first implies that something had always been absent (perhaps they had never had a loving family), that it continued to be absent, but the speaker had recently realised that they regretted its absence.

The second implies that the absence has recently ended (perhaps they entered a relationship which gives them a loving family) and that they realised that they had missed what was absent without realising it.

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