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  1. #1
    rosa87 is offline Junior Member
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    Default I just can't understand this!!

    Hi
    I need some help with this structure:
    we are said that when two actions take place in the past and there is a gap between these two actions,past perfect is used for the one happening first and past simple for the other one.
    But in this sentence:
    "The man arrived at the store before it had opened"
    although the first action was first done by the man,past perfect is used for the second action.WHY??
    thank you for your help

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I just can't understand this!!

    Hi, Rosa,
    A very good question. I've seen similar sentences and haven't been able to find an explanation. That's why I say the Past Perfect is the trickiest.
    Regards

  3. #3
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: I just can't understand this!!

    Quote Originally Posted by rosa87 View Post
    Hi
    I need some help with this structure:
    we are said that when two actions take place in the past and there is a gap between these two actions,past perfect is used for the one happening first and past simple for the other one.
    But in this sentence:
    "The man arrived at the store before it had opened"
    although the first action was first done by the man,past perfect is used for the second action.WHY??
    thank you for your help
    The past perfect is used for the earlier action when there is a need to establish the time sequence. IMO, this sentence is not correct.

    In addition, the adverb "before" does a very effective job of sequencing the events. IMO, the past perfect is superfluous in this sentence; but many teachers would still require it.

    The man had arrived at the store before it opened.

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