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Questions tagged [simple-past-vs-past-perfect]

For questions about choosing between the past simple and past perfect tenses.

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Past Perfect or Simple Past When Using Since in Reported Speech? [duplicate]

While reading The Beautiful and Damned, I stumbled upon a passage that caught my attention. It stated, Only with the flow through the transmitter of his own familiar but faintly impersonal tone did ...
JY WS's user avatar
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1 answer
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Present perfect or past simple while telling a story

I'm writing my story in English and I still have a hard time with present perfect and past simple. For instance in the sentences below I'm recounting something that happened in the past and ended in ...
Beatriz Carvalho's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
506 views

He died after he was ill for a long time

(14) He died after he had been ill for a long time. (15) She told me his name after he had left. In a 1989 paper titled "Perfect and pluperfect: What is the relationship?", Raphael Salkie ...
JK2's user avatar
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At the end of the WWII, the Cold War had begun

I've stumpled upon a peculiar usage of the Past Perfect Tense. At the end of the WWII, the Cold War had begun. The world would lay divided between two superpowers. This context seems suitable rather ...
Taman's user avatar
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3 answers
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A case of usage of past perfect tense

I hit this in the "The Making of a Nation" series. The United States had refused to recognize the government in Moscow after the Bolsheviks took control in 1917. This sentence seems odd to ...
PhuocHong's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
92 views

I am having trouble coördinating two clauses in the past by using the past perfect in one or both of them

I am confused about using had, talking about walking into a building in the past tense: She had been humming when she had walked into the building. She had been humming when she walked into the ...
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2 answers
63 views

Simple Past or Past Perfect - Sequence of Tenses [duplicate]

Could someone help me understand which tense (Simple Past or Past Perfect) would be more appropriate in the following examples, and why? I knew I asked the right person. I knew I had asked the right ...
Minimu's user avatar
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1 answer
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May I change the past perfect continuous to the past continuous and the past perfect to the past simple with the adverb "before"?

There are a lot of lessons about the PPC on the Internet and in textbooks, however, I've been stymied because an American friend of mine insists I can easily get away with changing the PPC to the PC ...
Let's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why is past simple being used in these sentences instead of past perfect? [duplicate]

I'm doing an Anki Deck that consists of "Advanced English Grammar" and I don't understand why in examples below I can't use the form I'm suggesting, but instead have to use the form that is ...
englishlearn2's user avatar
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2 answers
60 views

In the centuries after the group separated/had separated?

In the centuries after the group separated, they evolved in opposite directions. Shouldn't the former part of the sentence be in past perfect and 'had separated' be used instead of just 'separated'?
Rayhan's user avatar
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“Had started” or “Started”?

As the bath oil facility is where the fire had started, its proximity to the island fruit trees means the fires spread onto the orchard farm. I didn’t use “has started” because it’s already done. I’m ...
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Conditionals, past perfect vs would [duplicate]

I was reading a book and I can't understand why past perfect is used in the sentence below: The signal from successive eclipse has less and less distance to travel, so it arrives earlier than if ...
Caro's user avatar
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1 answer
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On official forms, does the present perfect imply that the situation is ongoing or has not yet concluded?

I have a question specifically about present perfect usage in legal and “bureaucratic” writing. On official forms (for example, application forms from US government agencies or IRS forms), I sometimes ...
Rai's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is it "allowed" or "has allowed"? [duplicate]

Which of the following is correct, and why? Dad has allowed me to purchase a car. Dad allowed me to purchase a car.
PalsgrafWasOk's user avatar
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2 answers
298 views

Verb tense confusion - how to correctly use past perfect in a past tense narrative

Okay, scenario: In a novel set in narrative past tense, there's a sentence, "We had become friends when nobody had liked him and it had seemed no one ever would." Is the past perfect being ...
Danielle's user avatar
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English / Spanish parallels and confusion

In general, I'm pretty confident and familiar about all typical uses of the past perfect tense. However, I noticed a compelling case while studying Spanish years ago. In Spanish, there's the pretérito ...
Alexander's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
59 views

When to use past perfect continuous and simple past tense?

What's the difference between: "I had been working for ABC for 5 years" and "I worked in ABC company for 5 years". I feel that both are correct but cannot figure out the differences.
Ajay Gaur's user avatar
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1 answer
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Past Perfect Simple vs Past Simple

By the time he had reached the door, he remembered the pink diamond. By the time he reached the door, he remembered the pink diamond. Are both sentences grammatically correct? Thank you!
Matina M.'s user avatar
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1 answer
400 views

Does "I have been exposed to" imply that I still am?

I still don't seem to fully understand the difference between these three: I've been exposed to English as a kid I'd been exposed to English as a kid I was exposed to English as a kid Could someone ...
displayname11's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
5k views

Transformation of sentence beginning with As soon as into sentence beginning with Hardly.....when

Consider this sentence: As soon as we reached the station, the train left. Now if I transform this into a sentence beginning with Hardly, then which of the following sentences is correct and why? ...
user744725's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
154 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 ...
Let's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Let's user avatar
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1 answer
3k views

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 ...
Elaol's user avatar
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-1 votes
2 answers
267 views

When to use and not to use Past Perfect?

This question has probably been asked many times, so I apologize in advance. After seeing many examples of past perfect and past perfect progressive, I still can't figure out when and how exactly to ...
Falconhoof's user avatar
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2 answers
18k views

I just remembered or i have just remembered? [duplicate]

Suppose I wrote someone an email and told him something. After a few days, it occurred to me that I forgot to tell him about other things. What is correct in this situation: Hi marc, I have just ...
user3232446's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
965 views

"To do as he did" vs. "to do as he had done"

He advised me/ to do as he did/ but I did not pay any attention/ to his advice. /(No error) The answer is no error , but I think the sentence should say "to do as he had done". Why is "as he did" ...
Rk Rahul's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Past Hypothesis vs Past Condition

I know the title might look confusing, so I would like to explain it in detail here. As far as I know, we can use past perfect construction when referring to a situation that didn't happen in the ...
Chien Te Lu's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
265 views

What are the real rules for choosing between the simple past and past perfect when both actions are in the past? [duplicate]

What are the real rules for choosing past perfect versus choosing past simple when you have two different past actions? I ask because the English sequence of tenses rules I was taught would have ...
Oliaoliaoliaolia's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
185 views

Use of Perfect Tenses, depending on the position of the phrase 'the first time'?

Today, I AM WEARING ice skates for the first time (ever). Yesterday, I WORE ice skates for the first time (ever). Tomorrow, I WILL WEAR ice skates for the first time (ever). with the phrase 'for the ...
user58319's user avatar
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0 answers
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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 ...
stoic-santiago's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
620 views

Completed action in the past lead to an ongoing action - which tense to use?

I am a bit confused about the proper tense for the following situation. I try to make an example: A couple of weeks ago I talked to someone. We have not talked or communicated in any way again since ...
kalle's user avatar
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1 answer
87 views

Using 'had been' as opposed to 'was'

I cannot figure out which version of this sentence sounds better. After Cortés’s army had been surrounded by Montezuma’s soldiers, this alliance turned out to be critical to Cortés’ victory. Or ...
SAVAGEHAX123's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Had never had/never had - past perfect vs simple past

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? ...
jellin2005's user avatar
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1 answer
5k views

“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 ...
Alina's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
447 views

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 ...
Alex S's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
984 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 ...
Costa's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
194 views

Learning about the difference between past simple and past perfect

I've been reading about the difference between past simple and past perfect and I've found that when a series of events are narrated in order past simple is the one to be used. When the events aren't ...
Andrés Martínez Vargas's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
18k views

"You've come to the right place!" vs "You came to the right place!" [closed]

I have to write this on a website, which one is better? Are you looking for [...](description of our service)? You've come / You came to the right place!
the_nuts's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
113 views

Past Perfect or Past Simple in the sentence where there are two events [duplicate]

which option is correct in the following sentence? I ___ for my exam all morning so I was really upset when I didn't do well. a) revised b) had revised I would say that both options ...
user3019105's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
6k views

"Ever + past perfect" vs "ever + simple past"

Hi there can any native speaker please tell me the difference between these two sentences. I have seen "past perfect" is rarely used In english. I know the first sentence is correct but in movies, ...
user266865's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the meaning of: "When I was in New York, I had visited the Statue of Liberty"?

When I was in New York, I visited the Statue of Liberty. When I was in New York, I had visited the Statue of Liberty. What is the meaning of sentence 2? Is it the same as sentence 1? Does it mean ...
Aki's user avatar
  • 1,185
-1 votes
1 answer
836 views

(Past Perfect and Simple past) What is the difference between these sentences? [closed]

In my point of view these two are the same and both talk about two actions that respectively was done in the past. But which one is correct and what is the difference between them if there is any? ...
a.toraby's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
6k views

Present Perfect or Past Simple in 'Where have you put / did you put the car keys?' Degrees of annoyance?

In such a question, what is most commonly done by native speakers of English: focus on the past action of you putting the car keys somewhere – somewhere not-too-logical-seeming? Where did you put ...
user58319's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
2k views

Past perfect or Simple Past: "I had [had] a hard day" [duplicate]

Question : I was really tired last night. I ______________ (have) a hard day. Which one of the two is correct sentence and why? (by the way I wrote the second one.) I was really tired last night. ...
user219913's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
797 views

Tense simplification in subordinate clauses - past perfect instead of would have

in Michael Swan's "Practical English Usage" he states in entry 580.6 ("past instead of would ..."): "would, like will, is avoided in subordinate clauses; instead, we generally use past verbs". He also ...
user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
2k views

Why is “had” ok in “What he had just said, especially that final sentence, really enlightened me”?

I’m writing a short prose piece for an academic audience and need to know whether the following sentence sounds right, especially its first clause: What he had just said, especially that final ...
tsp216's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
881 views

Sequence of tenses in reported speech [duplicate]

I've found it in a book and assume it's got to be correct, but I cannot understand why the Past Perfect of I had been offered. Would was offered not have been clearer? I explained that when I was in ...
jules's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
18k views

Past or present perfect in: "The ball fell down" or "The ball has fallen down" [closed]

I dropped something onto the floor just now. What verb tense would be appropriate to describe the situation right after falling? The ball fell down The ball has fallen down
Joea's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there past tense form of 'got'? [closed]

Is 'gotten' the past tense form of 'got' or is there even a word gotten?
Shonima Nandakumar's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
403 views

"She had lost her consciousness last night at pub after having several cocktails". Is this sentence grammatical? [closed]

She had lost her consciousness last night at the pub after having several cocktails. Is the use of had (the past perfect tense) right here?
sahar's user avatar
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