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  1. #1
    edmondjanet is offline Member
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    past or past perfect

    Hello everyone,
    I was not here when he came to see me.
    I had not been here when he came to see me.
    I left when he came.
    I had left when he came. I had asked this type of questions before. But, even now I am not clear whether past or past perfect has to be used.
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Re: past or past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by edmondjanet View Post
    I was not here when he came to see me. Fine
    I had not been here when he came to see me. No
    I left when he came. Fine. The two actions happened at the same time.
    I had left when he came. Fine. The leaving happened before the coming

    I had asked this type of questions before.
    5

  3. #3
    peng huang is offline Newbie
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    Re: past or past perfect

    I was not here when he came to see me.
    ” correct.
    "
    I had not been here when he came to see me.
    " strange. I don't think it is necessary to use past perfect in this case.
    "
    I left when he came.
    " incorrect. There are two actions happened in the past stated in the sentence, one of which occurred earlier than the other. In this case, you must use past perfect to describe the one happened earlier.
    "
    I had left when he came.
    " correct.

    Those are my understanding on the question and they may be wrong. I am waiting for others to give their input.

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: past or past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by peng huang View Post
    I was not here when he came to see me.
    ” correct.
    "
    I had not been here when he came to see me.
    " strange. I don't think it is necessary to use past perfect in this case.
    "
    I left when he came.
    " incorrect. There are two actions happened in the past stated in the sentence, one of which occurred earlier than the other. In this case, you must use past perfect to describe the one happened earlier.
    "
    I had left when he came.
    " correct.

    Those are my understanding on the question and they may be wrong. I am waiting for others to give their input.
    Did you read 5jj's response before you posted?

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: past or past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by peng huang View Post
    I left when he came.
    " incorrect. There are two actions happened in the past stated in the sentence, one of which occurred earlier than the other. In this case, you must use past perfect to describe the one happened earlier.
    This is not true. The sentence is correct.

  6. #6
    peng huang is offline Newbie
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    Re: past or past perfect

    It depends on the actual situation. If A occurs before B, you should say, "I had left when he came." If A and B happened at the same time, you may say, "I was leaving when he came."

    "I left when he came" is OK in day to day conversation, but I doubt your English teacher would approve it in formal writing.

    Please advice.

  7. #7
    peng huang is offline Newbie
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    Re: past or past perfect

    Sorry, I only read 5jj's post after I had clicked on the reply button. (is it correct to use past perfect here?)

  8. #8
    edmondjanet is offline Member
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    Re: past or past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    5
    regarding this, I have one more doubt
    I was not here for a long time.
    I was not here since 2000 to 2010.
    I had not been here for a long time.
    I had not been here since 2000 to 2010. Which of these sentences are correct?
    Thank you.

  9. #9
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: past or past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by edmondjanet View Post
    regarding this, I have one more doubt
    I was not here for a long time.
    I was not here since 2000 to 2010.
    I had not been here for a long time.
    I had not been here since 2000 to 2010. Which of these sentences are correct?
    Thank you.
    They are all unnatural.

  10. #10
    edmondjanet is offline Member
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    Re: past or past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    They are all unnatural.
    Sir,
    I couldn't understand your answer. I was working in Kuwait since 2006 to 2010. Four years I was not in my home country. So, can't I say?
    I was not here for a long time, or I was not here since 2006 to 2010.
    Thank you.

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