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  1. #1
    Intoarut is offline Newbie
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    Default Past perfect vs past simple

    Hello everyone: Imagine you're talking about your last holiday, "Last year I went...." Then you say, "I had decided to go to this place because..." Finally, you return to the present saying, "Now I wonder, if I made the right choice" or, "Now I wonder, if I had made the right choice"?? Which one is correct? And why? Thanks!

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Past perfect vs past simple

    Both had decided and decided are possible. I think that made is more likely than had made.

  3. #3
    Intoarut is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Past perfect vs past simple

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    KrissieWordLayer is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Past perfect vs past simple

    While I agree that you could use both, I would say "I had decided" is more grammatically correct because it is an action that happened earlier in the past
    I went on holiday - past simple
    but I made the decision to go to the place earlier so "I had decided" - past perfect

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Past perfect vs past simple

    Quote Originally Posted by KrissieWordLayer View Post
    While I agree that you could use both, I would say "I had decided" is more grammatically correct because it is an action that happened earlier in the past
    I went on holiday - past simple
    but I made the decision to go to the place earlier so "I had decided" - past perfect
    I wouldn't call it more grammatically correct. For me, "I decided" would also be better than "I had decided" - and far more commonly used in conversation. There's no reason for the past perfect here at all, since it's obvious that one must decide where to go before one goes there.
    They are both grammatically correct, and the simple past is stylistically better and more common in this context.

  6. #6
    Intoarut is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Past perfect vs past simple

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Both had decided and decided are possible. I think that made is more likely than had made.
    My original (& in my mind, logical) option was:
    "I wonder if I made the right decision." & "I wondered if I had made the right decision."
    But the past perfect tense is sometimes confusing (in my opinion!) And I thought... why not...
    "I wonder (now) if I had made the right choice (before going on holiday = before the past = past perfect)
    Does this make sense?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Past perfect vs past simple

    Quote Originally Posted by Intoarut View Post
    But the past perfect tense is sometimes confusing (in my opinion!) And I thought... why not...
    "I wonder (now) if I had made the right choice (before going on holiday = before the past = past perfect)
    Does this make sense?
    That's fine.

    However, as the 'before' makes the sequence of events clear, we can, but do not have to, use the past perfect.

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    Intoarut is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Past perfect vs past simple

    Thank you!

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