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  1. #1
    englishhobby's Avatar
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    Smile Past Simple and Past Perfect

    Which of the following sentences sounds more natural?
    1) The waiter took the plate away before I had finished eating

    2)The waiter had taken the plate away before I finished eating.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Past Simple and Past Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by english-help.okis.ru View Post
    Which of the following sentences sounds more natural?
    1) The waiter took the plate away before I had finished eating

    2)The waiter had taken the plate away before I finished eating.
    Sentence 1.

  3. #3
    englishhobby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Past Simple and Past Perfect

    Thank you. Actually, I thought as much, but what action happened earlier, the waiter's taking the plate or the man's not having finished eating? I'm going into details because I have to explain it to my students.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Past Simple and Past Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by english-help.okis.ru View Post
    Thank you. Actually, I thought as much, but what action happened earlier, the waiter's taking the plate or the man's not having finished eating? I'm going into details because I have to explain it to my students.
    Well, in this case there is only one action that is complete, i.e. the waiter's taking the plate away. Since he does so, it's not possible for you to finish eating.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Past Simple and Past Perfect

    Should it not be sentence 2, bhaisahab?

    I think the action of the waiter taking the plate away happened first.

  6. #6
    daemon99 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Past Simple and Past Perfect

    Why was past perfect used for finish here, engee30?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Past Simple and Past Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by daemon99 View Post
    Why was past perfect used for finish here, engee30?
    Because you were never able to finish eating what you were eating, as the waiter had already taken the plate away.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Past Simple and Past Perfect

    I agree number 2 makes more sense, though I've had very little coffee this morning.

    However, a waiter taking a plate away would not stop ME from eating. I'd just eat from other people's plates, or the bread-basket.

  9. #9
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    Smile Re: Past Simple and Past Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I agree number 2 makes more sense, though I've had very little coffee this morning.

    However, a waiter taking a plate away would not stop ME from eating. I'd just eat from other people's plates, or the bread-basket.
    Thank you very much, your comment is so funny. Do you know any medicine I could take to stop laughing?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Past Simple and Past Perfect

    1) The waiter took the plate away before I had finished eating.

    The waiter took the plate away, it was gone. I hadn't finished eating.

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