# Thread: the order of events

1. Newbie
Join Date
Nov 2005
Posts
15

## the order of events

The following sentences are from Oxford Grammar Practice by John Eastwood.Chronologically, the use of past perfect simple in that position just don't make sense to me. I've been labelling the clauses as "1st action" and "2nd action", as I sometimes do to figure out where to use past perfect but it doesn't seem to work right here.

The ball hit the back of the net before the goalkeeper had moved.
The chairman didn't speak until he had heard all the arguments.

2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Join Date
Nov 2002
Posts
40,145

## Re: the order of events

1- Emphasises that the goalkeeper's reactions were excessively slow or that the ball was unbelievably fast.
2- Listen first, then talk- again it carries an emphasis- many chairmen would talk first not listen.

3. ## Re: the order of events

The ball hit the back of the net before the goalkeeper had moved.
Before the goalkeeper had moved/was able to move, the ball hit.

1st event: The goalkeeper didn't/couldn't move fast enough, so
2nd event: the ball hit the back of the net.

The chairman didn't speak until he had heard all the arguments.
Until he had heard all the arguments, the chairman didn't speak.

1st event: The chairman waited to hear all the arguments, first, and then
2nd event: The chairman spoke.

4. Newbie
Join Date
Nov 2005
Posts
15

## Re: the order of events

Now it dawns on me that I should've approached the sentences from another angle.You've made it crystal clear. Thank you both.

5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Join Date
Nov 2002
Posts
40,145

## Re: the order of events

The order in the sentence doesn't have to reflect the order of the events.

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