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  1. #1
    lindadanca is offline Banned
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    Default past perfect-simple past

    Hello,

    First question is:

    First I graduated University of Oxford and then i began a new job but then i had to leave it.

    We can use 'simple past tense' while telling a story. (It is correct)

    But If we construct like that , i mean i want to learn if there is any different or not.


    (First I had graduated University of Oxford and then i began a new job but then i had to leave it).

    The second question is:

    A :I watched that movie last night.

    B:Hmm..I had watched it 2 days ago.
    or
    Hmm.I watched it 2 days ago.

    Which one more specific?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Bennevis's Avatar
    Bennevis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: past perfect-simple past

    A: I watched that movie last night.
    B: Hm, I watched it 2 days ago.

    There is no need to use the Past Perfect here. In general, experience shows that the Past Perfect should be used with caution. The fact that something technically happened before something else does not automatically trigger the use of the Past Perfect.

    First I graduated from the University of Oxford and then I started a new job, but then I had to leave it.
    Here we simply enumerate certain events. Correct me if I am wrong, but my opinion is based on my study of the Queen's English and later American English which tends to dispense with the Past Perfect in most cases.
    Last edited by Bennevis; 21-Aug-2011 at 17:26.

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: past perfect-simple past

    Please remember to capitalise the word "I" at all times, not just at the beginning of a sentence.

  4. #4
    lindadanca is offline Banned
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    Default Re: past perfect-simple past

    B: Hm, I watched it 2 days ago.

    or

    B: Hm, I had watched it 2 days ago.

    They are same. Is that right? I mean we can use both.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: past perfect-simple past

    Quote Originally Posted by lindadanca View Post
    B: Hm, I watched it 2 days ago.

    or

    B: Hm, I had watched it 2 days ago.

    They are same. Is that right? I mean we can use both.

    Thanks
    No, they're not the same. You can use both, but only in the right context.

    If you are talking right now, on Sunday, and you watched the film on Friday, then you would say "I watched it two days ago".
    If you are talking right now, on Sunday, about Friday and you watched the film on Wednesday, you would say "[It was Friday and] I had watched the film two days earlier".

    We don't usually use "ago" with the past perfect unless we are talking about a period of time preceding the period of time attached to ago:

    "Ten years ago, we had watched only two films. Now we've watched hundreds."

    That means that in 2001 (ten years ago), we had only watched two films in all the years leading up to 2001. From 2001 until the present time, we have watched hundreds of films.

  6. #6
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: past perfect-simple past

    Quote Originally Posted by lindadanca View Post
    B: Hm, I watched it 2 days ago.

    or

    B: Hm, I had watched it 2 days ago.

    They are same. Is that right? I mean we can use both.

    Thanks
    No, the past perfect is not correct here.

  7. #7
    lindadanca is offline Banned
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    Default Re: past perfect-simple past

    Thank you.

    I think, I realised it.

    For example,

    A :I watched that movie last summer.

    B:Hm, I had watched it before you watched it
    or

    B:Hm, I had watched it before you.

    or
    (It is monday)
    A :I watched that movie sunday.

    B:I had watched it before sunday.
    Is that right?
    Last edited by lindadanca; 21-Aug-2011 at 19:30.

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: past perfect-simple past

    Quote Originally Posted by lindadanca View Post
    Thank you.

    I think I realised understand it now.

    For example,

    A :I watched that movie last summer.

    B:Hm, I had watched it before you watched it
    or

    C:Hm, I had watched it before you.

    or
    (It is monday)
    A :I watched that movie sunday.

    B:I had watched it before sunday.
    Is that right?
    I'm afraid you don't understand it yet.

    It is Monday: "I watched that film yesterday".
    It is Monday: "I saw an advertisement for this film yesterday but I had already seen the film".

    The important thing is not just what day/month/time etc it is now, but the period of time you are talking about.

  9. #9
    lindadanca is offline Banned
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    Default Re: past perfect-simple past

    Aren't my questions correct?

  10. #10
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: past perfect-simple past

    Quote Originally Posted by lindadanca View Post
    Aren't my questions correct?
    Your questions might be correct but they would only be correct in the correct context. I don't know how to explain this any differently. We use different tenses in different situations. You can't just say:

    I watched the film.
    I had watched the film.
    Are both these sentences correct?

    Of course they're correct - if they're used properly and in the correct context.

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