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  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default the injured man died/had died.

    Before the ambulance arrived, the injured man died/had died.

    I think both verbs can be used. Am I correct?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: the injured man died/had died.

    They can, but I vote for simple past.

    With the use of "before" there is no doubt what happened in what order.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: the injured man died/had died.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Before the ambulance arrived, the injured man died/had died.

    I think both verbs can be used. Am I correct?

    Thanks.
    "Had died" is possible if the context calls for it. There's nothing in this sentence that suggests a need for it.

    However:
    "As the ambulance approached the scene, the driver noticed that no one at all was attending to the injured man. This was because, before the ambulance arrived, the injured man had died."
    "No one was looking after the injured man, because he had died."

  4. #4
    Fishman is offline Banned
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    Default Re: the injured man died/had died.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Before the ambulance arrived, the injured man died/had died.

    I think both verbs can be used. Am I correct?

    Thanks.
    I vote for "had died", because in Hong Kong if you use just "died" and you say you're really good at American English, the teacher will just put in "had" before died anyway.

  5. #5
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: the injured man died/had died.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishman View Post
    I vote for "had died", because in Hong Kong if you use just "died" and you say you're really good at American English, the teacher will just put in "had" before died anyway.
    I believe many non-native English teachers will put in 'had' before 'died', but I don't know the reason for that.

  6. #6
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: the injured man died/had died.

    Because the sequence is clear without it.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: the injured man died/had died.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    I believe many non-native English teachers will put in 'had' before 'died', but I don't know the reason for that.
    The reason is that many non-native teachers are taught, and teach, that two events happening at different times in the past require the earlier event to be phrased in the past perfect. It may even be normal in Hong Kong English. But it's not a rule for English elsewhere.
    Examples like this are always going to occur where teachers who don't know the language teach the language - and there's no easy solution to that. No doubt, that's part of the reason for regional variation.

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