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  1. #1
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    Default past perfect vs. past simple

    She told me that it'd rained all the time she was there.
    I was taught that the past perfect is used when we have an event happening before another event in the past without interrupting it.so I'd like to know why we used "had rained" in the previous sentence instead of "had been raining" or "rained" .And thanks for your effort.

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    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: past perfect vs. past simple

    In reported speech, you (often) shift the main verb back.

    Direct: She said, "It rained the whole time I was there."
    Reported: She told me that it had rained the whole time she was there.

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    Default Re: past perfect vs. past simple

    ok thank you but as long as we shift the verb back ,why we didn't shift "I was there" .And thank u again

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    Default Re: past perfect vs. past simple

    Quote Originally Posted by sammas View Post
    ok thank you but as long as we shift the verb back ,why we didn't shift "I was there" .And thank u again
    Interesting question, to which I regret to say I don't have the answer - . I'll be watching what other teachers have to say.

    Here are some possibilities - not "answers":
    • As Barb suggested (by saying 'often') there's an element of choice here. In formal speech, back-shifting is more common. As a sign that back-shifting has happened, but avoiding going 'over the top' [=doing something excessively], you back-shift only one verb... and the choice of that depends on:
    • ... which is the main verb. 'All the time I was there' is setting the scene - where and when the main verb happened: 'it rained'


    But maybe there's a short answer. I'll stay tuned

    b

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    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: past perfect vs. past simple

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    In reported speech, you (often) shift the main verb back.

    Direct: She said, "It rained the whole time I was there."
    Reported: She told me that it had rained the whole time she was there.
    Hi, Barb Could I rephrase your sentences as follows?
    Samma to Barb : "It has rained all the time I am there." (Direct)
    Barb to Abertino: Samma said it had rained all the time she was there. (Indirect)
    Could this answer Samma's question? : )
    (Not a teacher)
    Last edited by albertino; 05-Dec-2008 at 15:15.

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    Default Re: past perfect vs. past simple

    please help

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    Default Re: past perfect vs. past simple

    (Preamble: For native speakers:
    Isn't this consecutio temporum and natural sequence of tenses? According to this:
    Imagine yourself at the point in time denoted by the main verb, and use the tense for the subordinate verb that you would have used at that time.)

    This means that :
    She told me that it had rained all the time she was there.
    becomes
    I told her that it had rained all the time I was there.

    I use Past Perfect to place the fact that it rained prior to, further back in time to when I 'told her'.
    Then, if...if...I subsequently use Past Perfect (changed 'was there' to 'had been there', it is trying to place the fact of 'was there' as occurring prior to 'had rained', whereas it is contemporaneous.
    There is no confusion as to the meaning, and a more natural sequence, to follow the Past Perfect with the Simple Past.

    If anyone agrees, how can we simplify this for Sammas?
    Last edited by David L.; 05-Dec-2008 at 19:30.

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    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: past perfect vs. past simple

    Quote Originally Posted by albertino View Post
    Hi, Barb Could I rephrase your sentences as follows?
    Samma to Barb : "It has rained all the time I am there." (Direct)
    Barb to Abertino: Samma said it had rained all the time she was there. (Indirect)
    Could this answer Samma's question? : )
    (Not a teacher)
    Samma to Barb : "It has rained all the time I am there." (Direct)
    This isn't grammatical.
    She complains in an e-mail to her friend, sent while she is still there: It has rained the whole time I've been here!

    Otherwise, after she gets back: It rained (not has rained) the whole time I was there.

    You CAN backshift the entire thing. Samma said that it had rained the whole time she'd been there.

    But usually, you just do the main verb: Samma said it had rained the whole time she was there.

    You CAN also not backshift: Samma said that it rained the whole time she was there.

    ("I'm not surprised," you answered. "It has rained every time I've been there too and I bet it will rain on me when I go there next week!" -- This is how you can use "has rained.")

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    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: past perfect vs. past simple

    Quote Originally Posted by sammas View Post
    She told me that it'd rained all the time she was there.
    I was taught that the past perfect is used when we have an event happening before another event in the past without interrupting it.so I'd like to know why we used "had rained" in the previous sentence instead of "had been raining" or "rained" .And thanks for your effort.
    As far as I'm concerned, there is no good reason to use anything more complicated than "rained" in that sentence.
    I would use "rained" in both direct and reported speech.

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    Default Re: past perfect vs. past simple

    Thank u all. I have come with another confusing sentence concerning the same matter.
    I'd like to discuss it too.The sentence is "If I had known that the computer had a fault , I wouldn't have sold it to you."
    Why can't we write the sentence this way "If I had known that the computer had had a fault , I wouldn't have sold it to you.
    Thank u very much.

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