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26

When you mention something that happened in the past, its timing isn't mentioned and is perhaps no significance to your mention, and you're mentioning it because of its significance in relation to something happening in the present then the present perfect is suitable. In this case, "You came to the right place" isn't grammatically incorrect, but it doesn'...


11

There's no special magic with "had had", they don't really go together as a pair anymore than "had wanted" go together. So don't worry so much about how to use "had had" as a unit of grammar, they will come together naturally when you want to express the verb 'to have' in the past perfect. Let's consider a different verb for a moment like "to want". ...


9

The past perfect is used to emphasise completion of a past action. Example: I arrived home after my wife had gone to bed. In other words: "My wife went to bed. Sometime after that I arrived home." In your sentence, the speaker is using the past perfect to emphasise the following: It stopped raining. Sometime after that I stopped waiting (because I ...


9

In most cases, have is used as an auxiliary verb. Examples of auxiliary verbs, I have to go to school. I need to go to school. They have eaten breakfast. She has never played football. He does not eat breakfast. However, the verb have is also often used as a proper verb (as opposed to being an auxiliary verb) in place of proper verbs such as eat ...


8

You didn't use the gift I gave you. could imply that you thought the other party was supposed to use the gift at a specific point of time (or when a certain event occurred), and they have lost the opportunity. You haven't used the gift I gave you. implies that so far the other party has not used the gift, but there's a chance they still will.


8

Although these two phrases both appear to use the past tense, the second one actually refers either to the present or the future (but not the past). However, both of them are hypotheticals, referring to events that are not real but imagined. Here is some usage: If I had studied French, I would be able to read this paper now. In this scenario, I am ...


6

Yes, you need did to change to perfect tense, to be consistent. Whether you want done or had done is a matter of preference: Lucy had cleaned three rooms, done all the dishes in the kitchen, and even mopped the staircase. Lucy had cleaned three rooms, had done all the dishes in the kitchen, and had even mopped the staircase. The first version would ...


6

The past perfect construction is used to describe a past event that precedes another past event. In the example, the first event is the wind blowing out the candle, and the second event is the speakers finding themselves in the dark. That makes the second sentence an entirely appropriate way of saying what happened. The crucial word that indicates the ...


5

I have examined is a present perfect construction, and so it describes the speaker’s state now. Any reference to a preceding event is expressed with another present perfect construction or with the past tense. A preceding event would normally be expressed with the past perfect construction only when the current event is itself moved to the past, as in I ...


5

In most contexts the first of the three would be the one to use. The other two would be possible only in rather unusual circumstances.


5

There is a meaning distinction between these: I left before they decided what to do. I left before they had decided what to do. The first one can have the nuance: I left specifically not to be there when they decide. The second one does not, and that form with the perfect would be used when the speaker wants to make it clear "I left before they ...


5

Got is already a past tense. It is the past of 'get'. I got some bread at the shop, tells of something that happened in the past. Got is both a past tense and a past participle. In its past participle form, I have got a blue car, got signifies possession - I am in possession of a blue car Thus far all of the above is the same both in Britain and America. ...


4

My intuition is that the first one leaves open the possibility that David was home, but left at some point. That is: When we arrived, David had already got[ten] home, but had left. is ok, but When we arrived, David was already home, but had left. has the ring of a contradiction. I wouldn't lean on it too heavily. In most contexts, I think they are ...


4

They are different tenses. "If I had studied" is the past perfect, and "if I studied" is the simple past. The past perfect, sometimes called the pluperfect, means an event that took place before another event in the past, and generally indicates that that the first event is finished. "If I had studied I would have passed the exam." The simple past does not ...


4

Swan in Practical English Usage (p98) addresses this issue in his section on before: In clauses with before, we often use present and perfect tenses to emphasise the idea of completion. He went out before I had finished my sentence. (= ... before the moment when I had completed my sentence.) Note that in sentences like this, a past ...


4

I hear "you've come to the right place" as the cliché. "You came to the right place" sounds more like the speaker is surprised that the subject found the correct location. Maybe they're bad with directions?


4

An action or state prior to another in a narrative sequence in the past tense is not automatically cast in the past perfect, especially with subordinating conjunctions that order a sequence by themselves, like after, before, once, until. If some action/state occurs between the two events, or if the completion of the prior event is topical, or even if the ...


3

To me, "had been" implies a change of state: The phone rang. I was asleep. (No implication of state change. Further sentences would clarify if the speaker woke up, or never heard it.) The phone rang. I had been asleep. (But I after it rang, I wasn't asleep any more.)


3

It’s a matter of emphasis. The first sentence stresses David’s action in getting home, the second his state of being there.


3

What you are struggling with are creative choices in the use of the language. The writer intends to structure things as he or she did in order to accomplish a particular effect or a particular meaning. None of these sentences can be considered wrong. Let's look closely at one of them to illustrate what I mean: "Not long after that, she had made the decision ...


3

An answer in this site says (inter alia) The praeterite is traditionally called “the past tense” form but this is only one of its functions. The praeterite can be used to express the certain past (indicative) or the uncertain present (subjunctive). Like the unmarked certain form, absent of other time-marking or mood-marking, the default for the praeterite ...


3

No. The sentence requires 'have' to construct the Present Perfect, which refers to a period of time extending from the past up to the present. In this case the period of time referred to is 'throughout time' which conceptually implies time without end and necessarily continues to the present. If you remove 'have' the sentence becomes Past Simple: '...


3

This is the extract from this web-site https://dictionary.cambridge.org British and American English: verb tense forms " The present perfect is less common in AmE than BrE. AmE speakers often use the past simple in situations where BrE speakers use the present perfect, especially with words such as already and yet ". ...


3

That unqualified use of after will always make people think it means directly after, so all of those are more confusing than things that are more explicit: I talked with X a few weeks back, but am only just now writing about it. Having talked with X a couple weeks ago, I’m now writing about what I learned then. You can also use had in many narrative styles:...


3

It's quite hard to say in any particular case that it's wrong to use the past simple rather than the past perfect. For cases (1) and (2), I would say that the tenses the writers chose are the most likely tenses for native English speakers to use. For (3), we simply don't have enough information to decide one way or the other. The hugs were after the ...


2

I had heard that you needed an ID, but I didn't know if it was absolutely necessary. This sentence is correct. It implies that you knew about the necessity of carrying an ID before the events of last night. I had heard that you need an ID, but I didn't know if it was absolutely necessary. This is also correct, although some people might say that the use ...


2

Both are fine. The fact that the gerund is tenseless does not mean that the event it describes didn't happen at some time -- just that that time isn't explicitly marked in the clause. Since the past perfect in the first clause sets up an expectation that a reference past time will be supplied in the context, the addressee will normally interpret either a ...


2

Both of these sentences are in the simple past. The past perfect, also known as the pluperfect, is formed when the verb takes on the form "had [verb]", but in your examples, had is not acting as an auxiliary verb but rather as a normal verb, since it is not followed by another verb. Since had is not an auxiliary verb here, it is the simple past form of has (...


2

The difference in meaning is negligible, but your first example sounds "incomplete." Use the past tense, unless you want to compare that event to something else. So: I finished reading the book yesterday. I had finished reading the book, then the telephone rang. I ran three miles yesterday. I had run three miles when I started to feel a cramp. ...


2

Both examples use the past perfect construction to refer to a past event that occurred before another past event. There’s no previous event explicitly referred to in the second example, but there could well be elsewhere in the text. For example, it could have followed a speech such as ‘At that time I was feeling really anxious.’ (The subsequent question is ...


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