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  1. #1
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Default This was the first/last etc ...Past perfect or simple past

    I read the following from Michael Swan’s Practical English Usage.

    591 This is the first time etc.
    1. This is the first time etc.
    We use the present perfect in sentences constructed with this/it/that is the first/second/third etc.

    This is the first time that I’ve heard her sing.

    When we talked about the past, we use the past perfect in these structures.

    It was the third time he had been in love that year. (Not....It was the third time he was in love..)

    However,I saw some people use simple past in sentences constructed with “That/It was the first time etc. I googled some of the sentences as follows:

    ŸIt was the first time I saw you.
    ŸIt was the first time I milked a cow.
    ŸIt was the first time he cooked for me.

    I wonder if it is incorrect to use simple past in sentences constructed with “That/It was the first time etc.”

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Winwin2011; 30-Apr-2013 at 05:39.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: This was the first/last etc ...Past perfect or simple past

    I wouldn't say it was 'incorrect', especially in informal speech or writing. However, I would recommend the past perfect here, especially if you are taking a test/examination.

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