I had spoken or I spoke
When you are talking about past tense, which should I use?
I had spoken to him by the time I met you.
I spoke to him before I met you.
But you could also say 'I had spoken to him before I met you.' if you want to be wordy.
Offhand, I can't think of a situation in which one would have to use "had spoken".
2006:Offhand, I can't think of a situation in which one would have to use "had spoken".
I had spoken at Feminist Meetings a couple of times, but you can understand just how nervous I was about this one, with the Gloria Steinham being on the rostrum also.
(I don't know how these sentences pop into my head - what the hell do I know about Feminist Meetings?)
Last edited by David L.; 14-Mar-2009 at 18:59.
I did say "situation" in my statement above, and I think that was in response to Charlie's statement that "They have different meanings.", with the implication that the meanings are always different.
You could use simple past tense of the verb 'speak' in most or all situations, but you would have to make changes in the rest of the sentence to fit the difference in grammar between simple past and past perfect. (as in my prior examples)