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  1. #1
    simile is offline Junior Member
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    Lightbulb The use of "past perfect tense" & "past tense" with "before"

    Hi, the sentences are like these:
    Tom had studied English before he went out for a movie.
    Tom studied English before he went out for a movie.

    I had eaten the cake before I went to the party.
    I ate the cake before I went to the party.

    I think "past perfect tense" and "past tense" are both acceptable and correct with "before."
    (Of course, the two tenses make the sentences slightly different in their meanings.)

    Do you agree with me?

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: The use of "past perfect tense" & "past tense" with "before"

    Quote Originally Posted by simile View Post
    Hi, the sentences are like these:
    Tom had studied English before he went out for a movie.
    Tom studied English before he went out for a movie.

    I had eaten the cake before I went to the party.
    I ate the cake before I went to the party.

    I think "past perfect tense" and "past tense" are both acceptable and correct with "before."
    (Of course, the two tenses make the sentences slightly different in their meanings.)

    Do you agree with me?
    The past perfect is unnecessary in both cases.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: The use of "past perfect tense" & "past tense" with "before"

    Quote Originally Posted by simile View Post
    Hi, the sentences are like these:
    Tom had studied English before he went out for a movie.
    Tom studied English before he went out for a movie.

    I had eaten the cake before I went to the party.
    I ate the cake before I went to the party.

    I think "past perfect tense" and "past tense" are both acceptable and correct with "before."
    (Of course, the two tenses make the sentences slightly different in their meanings.)

    Do you agree with me?
    You only use the past perfect if you're pointing out some logical relation between the two events. As you have written the sentences, there is none.
    However, if you'd written, "I had eaten the cake before I went to the party. Therefore I wasn't hungry and couldn't enjoy the party food", you would use the past perfect, because there is a relation between eating the cake and going to the party that you want to emphasise.

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