- For Teachers
Hi there. I am a TESL student. I will be having my exam this wednesday and i want to make sure i can get this right.
I'm sorry i left without you last night, but i told you to meet me early because the show started at 8.00.
Why can't we say " but i had told you.......". I thought past perfect is for past events before the past time. So why is it past simple?
You are referring to an action in the past (telling the person) which occurred before another related action in the past (leaving without the person).
In this case, you'd use the simple past because the person will know when you are referring to. There's no need for past perfect. However, you could say:
"I'm sorry I left without your sister last night, but I had told her to meet me early ...." In this case, the person you are talking to doesn't know when you told her, so you can use the past perfect to emphasise that it was before the meeting time.