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Thread: Past perfect


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    #1

    Past perfect

    I don't want it to get out that I'm leaving before I've had a chance to tell Anthony.


    I would have written this sentence as, "I don't want it to get out that I'm leaving before I will have a chance to tell Anthony". Because the second part of the sentence deals with future. But in the original sentence, the past perfect "have had" been used. So I am a bit confused.

    Please help me.

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    #2

    Re: Past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by user_gary View Post
    I don't want it to get out that I'm leaving before I've had a chance to tell Anthony.


    I would have written this sentence as, "I don't want it to get out that I'm leaving before I will have a chance to tell Anthony". Because the second part of the sentence deals with future. But in the original sentence, the past perfect "have had" been used. So I am a bit confused.

    Please help me.
    Hi Gary

    You cannot use a future tense in a time clause.

    "...before I`ve had a chance.." -is a time clause and the verb is in the present perfect simple. Before is a time adverb which means previous to that moment. In your main clause I`m leaving is in the present continuous tense and this tense is used with a future meaning here.
    You need to use the present perfect in some cases when you need to show that one action can only take place after another has been completed, as in: "As soon as I've eaten this meal, I won't feel hungry any longer."


    Does it help?
    Last edited by Teia; 12-Aug-2007 at 12:22.


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    #3

    Re: Past perfect

    Thank you very much tele_petrescu.
    Does it help
    Yes, a lot.
    But still I am a bit confused. I would be glad if you elaborate your explanation.

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