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  1. #1
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default past simple X past perfect

    Before we left, Penny went to pay for the hotel room.

    I don't understand why past perfect wasn't used instead: "Before we left, Penny had gone to pay...."
    Could someone explain it, please?

  2. #2
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: past simple X past perfect

    Hi Lenka
    .
    The word before makes the order of events clear, and that makes the past perfect completely unnecessary.

  3. #3
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: past simple X past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Philly View Post
    Hi Lenka
    .
    The word before makes the order of events clear, and that makes the past perfect completely unnecessary.
    Does it mean that it could be used there, but it is not necessary?

  4. #4
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: past simple X past perfect

    .
    I'd say it could be used, but generally wouldn't be. In this sentence, past perfect would tend to sound like overkill.

  5. #5
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Default Re: past simple X past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Does it mean that it could be used there, but it is not necessary?
    The main function of the past perfect is to clearly state the sequence of two past events -- which came first and which came second. In many cases, an adverb of time accomplishes that task more easily. That doesn't make the past perfect incorrect, but it often makes it optional.

  6. #6
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: past simple X past perfect

    Well, hear that many people (the natives) from the UK, USA and other countries do not usually use present and past perfect tenses at all (at least no in their speech). Is it the truth?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: past simple X past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Well, hear that many people (the natives) from the UK, USA and other countries do not usually use present and past perfect tenses at all (at least no in their speech). Is it the truth?
    No. I don't know anybody who never uses those tenses.

    The truth is that the past perfect can often be replaced by adverbs of time, and the present perfect has a good deal of overlap (read "speker's choice) with the simple past. Nevertheless, there are times when only these tenses will do.

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