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Questions tagged [past-perfect]

Questions about Past Perfect tense

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'might have **got** away with it' vs. 'might have **gotten** away with it'

What's the difference between: If he hadn't been so bloody-minded about the suicide verdict, he might have got away with it. and If he hadn't been so bloody-minded about the ...
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56 views

'having been' in past perfect

I am trying to understand how to move the expression having been better to past perfect case in the following sentence: They consider some period in the past having been better than the times we ...
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79 views

The ways to indicate a state or an action which lasted and then ended at or before some point in the past?

I feel quite confused. If I want to say that something was true or was happening for a while before some point in the past, what ways does English give me to express that? If I want to express that ...
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Using Past Simple when talking about an event which was happening for a while before another event

I always thought when a person is speaking of two past events, they should use the Past Perfect tense for the earlier event. Like this: "I had been explaining (Past Perfect) this rule to you for ...
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Confusing double occurrence of Past Perfect in the same sentence

I am currently working with a grammar book designated for advanced English learners, and I have come across a strange usage of Past Perfect: So, before the young man had had a chance to say anything ...
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25 views

Use the Past Perfect instead of the Simple Past here

I've seen that we should use the Perfect to say about prior events that happened at a certain time and that give us context. Now, in this sentence here: A: Hello, Allie. B: I don't wanna talk ...
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Grammar: Past perfect or Past simple or something else entirely?

Is this sentence grammatically correct? He left before she had finished her sentence. I have already read multiple articles on this and i know that past perfect is used when there are two actions with ...
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past VS past perfect tense

I am reading a new report and there is a sentence "In the accident three men and three women died, while 10 men and 5 women were injured." why died is in past tense while injure is in past perfect?
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Modal verbs and Past Perfect

Is it possible to use modal verbs in Past Perfect? I know we can use modal verb + perfect infinitive to talk about the past, e.g. I shouldn't have said that. This is Past Simple tense, isn't it? I ...
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2answers
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When to use and not to use Past Perfect

This question has probably been asked many times, so I apologize in advance. I also apologize if it's too long and may not abide by all the rules. After seeing many examples of past perfect and past ...
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Can I use Present Perfect and Past Perfect together like this?

At a certain point in time, someone gave me something. At a later time, I tried using it. Now, I'm talking about the attempt. I wonder if I can talk about it like this: "I've tried using the thing ...
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When can I omit the auxiliary verb in Past Perfect…?

I've come across two examples of past-perfect in the textbook and was wondering if someone could please explain why the latter sentences still use 'had' and why it shouldn't be omitted: 1) When I ...
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About the past perfect and its proper use is a sentence

When they had celebrated their 50 anniversary, it was already popular. Is this sentence correct? (I Think it must be just the other way around?)
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Use of past perfect with since

"He hadn't been to school since last week." As a native english speaker, I sense this sentence is wrong, but I can't figure out why, other than that 'last week' seems to posit a vantage point of the ...
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37 views

Past and when should i use what? [duplicate]

English grammar has been confusing me for a long time, so I want to ask some questions about the past and how you use it. I'm more interested in information about British English. When and how do you ...
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58 views

“Had me blind” and grammar in lyrics/poems

I'm looking at a line from the song "I Can See Clearly Now". It's the line: Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. I know that that line is in the passive voice ("the dark clouds that had me ...
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2answers
76 views

Past tense of past tense

If a book is written in past tense, how do you describe something which was in the past? For example: I was waiting in the back of the line because I "punched" the son of the principal. The verb "...
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1answer
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Is it necessary to use the past perfect if a time expression makes the order of events clear?

On the Michael Vince’s book, English Grammar and Vocabulary, there is this sentence: ” Mallory had discovered an ancient map showing the position of the city, although no European had ever been to the ...
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What do these three sentences imply?

What do the three sentences imply? 1) I thought I would never have been an engineer. 2) I thought I would never be an engineer. 3) I thought I will never be an engineer. Does the first ...
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Is the following acceptable: was expecting + if I hadn't had

I sent an email recently to a hotel where I'm going to stay, but I got a flight cancelation. Here's a passage from my email, I had my flight canceled today, I was expecting to arrive at the hotel ...
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Question about past perfect

I'm trying to figure out proper way to use past perfect tense. I came out with a few phrases but I'm still confused with the differences. Can someone explain to me the difference between each phrase? ...
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49 views

Past perfect + which tense?

I'm trying to say: He had also made her promise that when that day comes (->????), she leave and not look back. I'm stuck about the right tense to use for the verb to come, since it's the "future in ...
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53 views

Past Perfect usage question

„Boxer Joe Foster had fought over 100 opponents when he retired in 1994.” Why someone used Past Perfect in this senence?
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A question about 'Past Perfect'

I'll appreciate, if anyone could explain me the usage of past perfect in the following sentence, since the past perfect, I assume, is unusually referring to 'later past'. "The frustrated ...
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1answer
39 views

Should I write “I have been teamed up” or “I had been teamed up”

I want to write a past perfect tense sentence with a word "teamed up". Should I write I have been teamed up OR I had been teamed up.
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Is the sentence “While i was traveling i had seen beautiful buildings.” ungrammatical?

Is the sentence “While i was traveling i had seen beautiful buildings.” ungrammatical? I think this sentence is grammatical using past perfect to describe multiple events in past but the answer says ...
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Past Perfect Continuous vs. Past Perfect

I took a grammatical quiz and chose 'had been spending' answer. It turned out to be the wrong answer. May you explain why not the continuous form? John _______ (to spends) 3 years in Pakistan ...
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Use of past perfect versus simple past

When a subordinate clause establishes time, do you have the option of using or not using the past perfect in the main clause? When he called her, he said nothing about quitting his job. When he ...
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Past continuous questions

I have a question about Past continuous from this following example. " I was thinking that I wouldn't have any friends when I came here. " " I was thinking that I wouldn't have any friends when I ...
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Multiple usage of Past Perfect in a one sentence. How to recognize which action took place first?

I know that Past Perfect means "earlier past" and is used to clarify which action took place first in chronological order, but what when there are more actions in the past perfect that need to be ...
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Which tense is appropriate? Simple or Perfect? [duplicate]

Consider the following two sentences: Many buildings were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. Many buildings had been destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. Which is appropriate, and why? I think ...
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2answers
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She has been being mistreated

She is being mistreated. She has been being mistreated for five years. Is the second sentence grammatically correct? Or should the being been be contracted to just been? I. e. She has been mistreated ...
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Mixed tenses in a sentence : had to + simple past

So a story that is told primarily in simple past has the following sentence: He had to shake him out of his trance and pointed at the battle. Should 'pointed' follow the same tense as 'shake' and ...
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164 views

The use of never

would somebody help me to correct this sentence: "I thought being all alone was never this ugly" Is it grammatically correct? Thanks
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“I have been travelling” or “I had been…” or “I was…”?

My teacher asked me where had I been because I was very late. What would be the best answer? I have been travelling from my hometown to here, so I have came late I had been travelling from… I ...
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203 views

Can past perfect tense be used without a second tense?

I found this sentence in the book "Game of Thrones": Catelyn had never liked this godswood. It seems that the author used past perfect tense here, but without a second tense. Is it possible? Or is ...
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3k views

Difference between “had waited” and “had been waiting”

Can I write "I have been waiting for the bus for 30 minutes" instead of "I had waited for the bus for 30 minutes?"
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“You mentioned that you want” vs. “You had mentioned that you wanted” [duplicate]

How to say it in a right way and why? 1. In your advertisement, you had mentioned that you wanted to know about... 2. In your advertisement, you mentioned that you want to know about... Thank you ...
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Past Perfect questions

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding certain aspects of the past perfect tense. So my premise is, it deals with events that happened in the past at different times. One event is in past ...
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1answer
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How to spot error in the sentence? [closed]

Is it correct to say"I had left the place when he arrived"? And what can be the other possible sentences we can frame referring to the same meaning
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weird airport customs questions I had

I was going through the US border control in an airport a couple days ago and the customs officer asked me a question that was kind unexpected. I don't remember the question exactly but it definitely ...
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Using past perfect tense after past tense

Which sentence is more correct? He helped an old woman. Then, everyone had known that he was a good man. He helped an old woman. Now, everyone has known that he is a good man. I know that past ...
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3answers
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Until and past tenses - are both correct or not?

I have a problem with these two sentences: "You promised you would take care of her until she had grown up" "You promised you would take care of her until she grew up" Which of them is the correct? ...
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“news in letters” Is this a countable phrase?

......As a result, the news in letters was already out of date when people received it. 1) Is it better to use "were" in this case as we are talking about news in several letters? 2) also should I ...
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Future tense and past perfect tense together?

Police will have the pictures enlarged in an attempt to identify the thief. This sentence include two tenses. The former one is will for the future tense and the other is past perfect future tense. ...
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A question regarding “had” vs “had had” [duplicate]

Which one you would choose? I really had had a pleasant meal until you came OR I really had a pleasant meal until you came I personally think that both are correct, but I am interested to see ...
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Is it possible to use the adverb 'now' in the past?

I learn pluperfect in German and recently ran into a web-page with English-German examples. One of the example seems to me incorrect, so I am bringing this out to make sure I correctly understand the ...
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180 views

Is this grammatically correct or not? [closed]

I have a question. Is this sentence correct grammatically?? What have you tried for it? Or I should use this instead : Have you tried anything for it?
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92 views

Shouldn't the first verb in “she died before I was born” be in the past perfect?

Quote from English book: Sadly, I never got to meet her because she died before I was born. I think it should be: Sadly, I never got to meet her because she "had" died before I was born. I think ...
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American dialects: Replacing the past-perfect participle with the simple-past form

I have come across some American media (The Alternate History Hub youtube channel comes to mind) in which the perfect participle and the simple-past form have been merged. For example, we would have: ...