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Questions tagged [past-perfect]

Questions about Past Perfect tense

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Past perfect: had --> have + was VS had --> have had + was

Which is correct? If Mark had not included his own name in the message, we would have no idea who was behind it. If Mark had not included his own name in the message, we would have had no idea who ...
3
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1answer
150 views

Can the Past Perfect be substituted with past simple + time reference only with state verbs?

As an English teacher, I often find students unclear about the use of the past perfect. It seems that this is sometimes optional if there is a time reference. I take both these sentences to be correct ...
3
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1answer
486 views

“had better never have been born”

In Conan Doyle's The Greek Interpreter, a character says "If ... you had better never have been born". This sounds fine to my ear, but I believe "had have been" is generally considered incorrect. If ...
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1answer
39 views

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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1answer
1k views

I'd been sent to kill him / I was sent to kill him. etc..?

When do I use had and when can I leave out had? or use was instead of had This is the context it was used in: With the Reds and the Germans knocking seven shades of shit each other back at Museum ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
76 views

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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1answer
350 views

difference between past perfect and past continuos

This is a question in my text book and I find that we can use both of the tenses (past perfect and past continuous). However, the answer is to use past perfect in this context. It really makes me ...
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1answer
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How to explain usage of past perfect in this case

I am having a hard time to understand the usage of past perfect in the following excerpt Deep in the bowels of the anchored vessel The Mendacium, facilitator Knowlton sat alone in his cubicle and ...
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1answer
117 views

Should you use past or present tense in a sentence if it ends in something like in olden and modern times?

Large amounts of gold weren’t worth much and merely had to be gotten ridden of in olden times like in modern times.' OR Large amounts of gold aren't worth much and merely have to be gotten rid of ...
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1answer
877 views

I finished my essay yesterday but I (?) it in to the tutor yet

I finished my essay yesterday but I (?) it in to the tutor yet. A.I've given B.I hadn't given C.I didn't give Which is correct? My dear tutor said the answer had to be B. But I find no correct ...
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0answers
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Past Perfect and Until

In the book which I use to prepare for the IELTS exam they have the following sentence: The situation remained unchanged for the next two years until more universities were opened. I do not ...
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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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2 words HAD in a row

I don't understand this sentence, what are two words "HAD" mean? "I think they may have thought that reaching out to people who represent what is now the mainstream way of thinking and HAD who HAD ...
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0answers
198 views

Past Perfect with the word “within”

My question is about the use of the Past Perfect Simple in the following excerpt: Back in 1995, when Bezos was shipping books from his garage, Pierre Omidyar, a software programmer, started coding a ...
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Past Perfect and Present Perfect

Am I allowed to use present perfect for this sentence: "People who did not know about bargains have paid much more money than people who knew this in the last two weeks." the point of past perfect ...
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0answers
176 views

“We never discussed what happened” or “We never discussed what had happened?”

I'm writing some fiction in the past tense. At one point, I'm explaining a story in past perfect, and then the paragraph ends with "We never discussed what had happened." But it appears to me that ...
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0answers
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Using “before” as a preposition: past tense or past perfect tense?

When we talk about past events, I understand that the first action happened should be in past perfect tense, and the second action should be in past tense. What if the sentence has one verb only? When ...
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Past perfect in stories

I read the news about Hefner's death and want to understand why past perfect used in the sentence I've marked in bold and caps down below: "But others pointed out that while Hefner launched his ...