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    #1

    "were found" versus Past Perfect

    Hello everyone,

    Could you help me clarify 'were found' versus the past perfect tense, please?

    From what I understand, the past perfect tense is composed of the auxiliary "had" (to have: in past simple tense, third person) and the past participle of the main verb. For example: "They had found".

    Then I see "were found" (as in 'they were found') which is the simple past tense of "to be" (third person) and "found". In this case, is 'found' the past participle? Or, is it functioning as an adjective or something?

    Can someone explain to me the difference?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Purdy; 05-Sep-2012 at 03:36.

  1. ha179's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "were found" versus Past Perfect

    NOT A TEACHER.
    I don't know the original sentence where you take this "were found" from, but I think it's a passive sentence with past tense. Your sentence might have the structure like this: S (plural noun/you) + were found + (somewhere)... My tip for you is wherever you see "be" followed by a part participate form of verb, think of passive voice first.
    Of course it's totally different from past perfect tense, because the structure of this tense is: S + had + past participate
    Hope you find this useful!

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    #3

    Re: "were found" versus Past Perfect

    I find - present simple active
    I found - past simple active

    I have found - present perfect active
    I had found - past perfect active

    they are found - present simple passive
    they were found - past simple passive

    they have been found - present perfect passive
    they had beeen found - past perfect passive.

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    #4

    Re: "were found" versus Past Perfect

    Thank you!

    The sentence in question is from a rather macabre newspaper clipping:

    "She lived in the area where her body parts were found."

    So, if I were to re-state this as: " Her body parts were found in the area where she lived." Is that not changing the sentence to the "active voice" as opposed to the "passive voice"?

    But, still, as cited in the above response "were found" is the past simple passive, right?

    I still don't get it, really.

    What if I were to state: "The found body parts"? Is that correct? Is it an adjective, then?
    Last edited by Purdy; 05-Sep-2012 at 08:03.

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    #5

    Re: "were found" versus Past Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Purdy View Post
    "She lived [active] in the area where her body parts were found [passive]."

    [...] "Her body parts were found [passive] in the area where she lived [active]."

    [...] What if I were to state: "The found body parts"? Is that correct? It's not very natural.
    Is it an adjective, then? if you used it, it would be a past particple used as an adjective.
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    #6

    Re: "were found" versus Past Perfect

    Thank you!

    I will study these verb forms.

    I'm really looking forward to parsing sentences!


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    #7

    Re: "were found" versus Past Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Purdy View Post



    "She lived in the area where her body parts were found."
    Hello, Purdy:

    Yes, parsing is great fun. And if you learn the Reed-Kellogg diagramming system, it will be even MORE fun!

    I was wondering if this sentence might be helpful:

    "She lived in the area where the police found her body parts."

    1. As you can see, "the police found her body parts" is active.

    2. Sometimes, it is not that important who did what, so the passive is used:

    "She lived in the area where her body parts were found [by the police]."


    James

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    #8

    Re: "were found" versus Past Perfect

    Thank you, James!

    I am so looking forward to improving my knowledge of English grammar; I feel that parsing would be the most thorough approach!

    Is there a particular software that you use for the Reed-Kellogg diagramming system? Or, do you just do it by hand and a piece of paper?

    Thanks ever so much!

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