We went to watch a movie after we had completed our work.

Why the need for the word "had" when there is the word "after"?

  • 4
    There is no need for the word "had" when you use the word "after"; anybody who told you this is wrong. On the other hand, using the word "had" is also grammatically correct, because completing the work happened before you went to the movies. – Peter Shor Dec 6 at 15:20

You would still have "had" if you used another term, even an opposite term, such as "before."

We went to watch a movie before we had completed our work.

"Had" is required as a part of the pluperfect construction. "After" is a preposition, like would be "before," that signifies the temporal relationship between the clauses. It adds semantic value and as demonstrated is generally independent of the tense.

  • When I study this construction I had perceived that the need of "had" is to identify which action happened first. If so there is no need of "had"if th – Mathew KJ Dec 7 at 3:51
  • if it follows "after, befor" etc. – Mathew KJ Dec 7 at 3:54

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