Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

    • Join Date: Dec 2003
    • Posts: 27
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Simple past and Past Perfect

    I have two sentences:
    He locked the door.
    He went out for dinner.
    Which tense we should use to connect them?
    He locked the door and went out for dinner
    Or: He had locked the door before going out for dinner.
    Tell me which one is better? and the meaning of each one?
    Tks

  1. RonBee's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2003
    • Posts: 16,570
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2
    Neither one is necessarily better, but we would normally use simple past there. There is, absent context, no reason to use past perfect there.

    :)


    • Join Date: Dec 2003
    • Posts: 27
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3
    "Neither one is necessarily better." I haven't caught your idea
    I will put my sentence in a situation like that: My house has been stolen and I want to insist to everybody that I locked the door before going out. Whether I should use the past perfect tense?
    " I had locked the door before going out for dinner"
    :)
    Oh, by the way, what is an absent context?

  2. moonlite
    Guest
    #4
    How about this.

    He locked the door before (he) went out for dinner.

    Sounds more natural.


    • Join Date: Dec 2003
    • Posts: 27
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by moonlite
    How about this.

    He locked the door before (he) went out for dinner.

    Sounds more natural.
    Hi,
    As I know, "before" is a prep and be followed by a noun or a gerund. So I don't think we should omit the subject (He). How about you?

  3. moonlite
    Guest
    #6
    I am no teacher. But what you say sounds ok to me. However, in general conversations, that sentence is often heard.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 44,225
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7
    I agree with Solace- it should be 'before going' or 'before he went'.

  4. RonBee's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2003
    • Posts: 16,570
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by solace
    "Neither one is necessarily better." I haven't caught your idea
    I will put my sentence in a situation like that: My house has been stolen and I want to insist to everybody that I locked the door before going out. Whether I should use the past perfect tense?
    " I had locked the door before going out for dinner"
    :)
    Oh, by the way, what is an absent context?
    If I say "Neither one is necessarily better" then I mean that there is no reason to believe that one is better than the other.

    In your example I would use the simple past. It is not necessary to use the past perfect. (I assume that you meant that your house had been burgled.)

    Context is the surrounding sentences--the sentences that come before and after a sentence.

    :)


    • Join Date: Dec 2003
    • Posts: 27
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9
    Now, I do understand. Thanks :)
    Another question: Which cases should we use past perfect tense?


    • Join Date: Dec 2003
    • Posts: 27
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by moonlite
    I am no teacher. But what you say sounds ok to me. However, in general conversations, that sentence is often heard.
    Hi,
    If you say so, everybody can understand you. However I think it is not a standard English.
    Anyway, such utterance will be accepted in verbal communication:)

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. simple past and past perfect.
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-Oct-2004, 15:27
  2. present perfect and simple past
    By ripley in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 26-Sep-2004, 15:16
  3. The Hidden Evidence: The Past Family
    By shun in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 143
    Last Post: 09-Nov-2003, 01:56

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •