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  1. #1
    kindaichiXXX is offline Newbie
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    Default Confusion between past simple and past perfect

    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?

  2. #2
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Confusion between past simple and past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by kindaichixxx View Post
    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. What does this sentence mean?

    so why is it past simple? because simple past is all you need to express the meaning
    Welcome to the forums!

  3. #3
    nuharani is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Confusion between past simple and past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    Welcome to the forums!
    in my opinion, there is a time signal "last night" that is way you use past tense not past pecfect. When you didn't use time signal but you still feel the result of it, for example, "I have read this novel". it means that you already know the story of it and whatever are in the novel.

  4. #4
    nuharani is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Confusion between past simple and past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by kindaichiXXX View Post
    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?
    sorry for wrong quotation before. it must be this sentences i quote.
    you use past tense here as you already have a time signal "last night".when you didn't use it, the sentence can use present perfect. Every time you find "time signal" use the appropriate tense.

  5. #5
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Confusion between past simple and past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by kindaichiXXX View Post
    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?
    I can see your reason for wanting to use the past perfect, and in a slightly different context you might.
    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.

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