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  1. #1
    duiter is offline Member
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    Why doesn't the writer use past particle tense ?

    Dear teachers,

    Why doesn't the writer use past particle tense after by 2010 ?

    A steady but significant rise can be seen in the percentage of the population that owned
    a computer over the period. Just over half the population owned computers in 2002,
    whereas by 2010 three out of four people had a home computer.

    Why not ....... bby 2010 three out of four people had had a home computer instead of had

    http://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/...el_Answers.pdf
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Re: Why doesn't the writer use past particle tense ?

    English is often unclear about past imperfect tenses being clearly expressed as imperfect, but here we use "had a computer" as a past continuous (imperfect) because people keep their computer for 2 years or more. If we chose a verb whose meaning conveyed an act that was punctual, inchoative, temporary or quick (e.g. to buy a computer) then we would use the pluperfect as you suggest ("had bought a computer").

    Do you see my meaning?

  3. #3
    duiter is offline Member
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    Re: Why doesn't the writer use past particle tense ?

    Thanks for your reply

    I am sorry, no I am still confused

  4. #4
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Why doesn't the writer use past particle tense ?

    Quote Originally Posted by duiter View Post
    Thanks for your reply

    I am sorry, no I am still confused
    There's no need for the past perfect there (if that's what you mean by "past particle tense").
    Can you explain why you think it should be "had had"?

  5. #5
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    whitemoon is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Why doesn't the writer use past particle tense ?

    I think he is confused with this sentence.(from the article he refers to)
    In 2002, only around 15% of those who did not finish high school had a computer but this figure had trebled by 2010.
    Just over half the population owned computers in 2002, whereas by 2010 three out of four people had a home computer.
    Both are correct. The first sentence has the subject “this figure” and the second one, “three out of four people”. The subjects differ and so do the tenses: “had trebled” and “had”, although the time phrase is the same, “by 2010”.
    Hope you understand!

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Why doesn't the writer use past particle tense ?

    By 2010 three out of four people had a computer- they still had a computer
    By 2010 three out of four people had had a computer- they may have stopped owning one

  7. #7
    MartinEnglish is offline Member
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    Re: Why doesn't the writer use past particle tense ?

    It would be weird to use the Past Perfect with a possessive have except to express for how long.
    It 2008 I had a car.
    In 2008 I had had my car for 6 years.

    In your sentence 2010 is finished - so we just use the Past Simple. Is that clear now? Why do you think you'd need the Past Perfect?

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