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    #1

    Smile "long ago" or "long before"

    Is the following sentence correct?
    They had abandoned her long ago.
    It is usually said that with 'ago' you can only use the simple past tense. If you want to use the past perfect tense, it must be 'before'. Is this the case?
    I know there are people using 'long ago' with the past perfect tense, but I would like to know whether this is grammatically correct. Thanks.

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      • India
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    #2

    Exclamation Re: "long ago" or "long before"

    Quote Originally Posted by philipwei View Post
    Is the following sentence correct?
    They had abandoned her long ago.
    It is usually said that with 'ago' you can only use the simple past tense. If you want to use the past perfect tense, it must be 'before'. Is this the case?
    I know there are people using 'long ago' with the past perfect tense, but I would like to know whether this is grammatically correct. Thanks.
    before” and “long ago”(=long time past), with these time expressions we are thinking about a definite or finished time in the past, so we would normally use a past tense, it can be past simple or past perfect because both expresses a past action with definite time in the past. As:
    I need an interesting event that had happened long ago.
    Ofcourse, you can also say:
    I need an interesting event that happened long ago.

    So there is nothing wrong with your sentence grammatically.
    However, it may be noted that past perfect tense is normally used to indicate that one action occurred before another action in the past. In other words, past perfect tense indicates the first of the two actions.* In such a case before is most appropriate and used at the beginning of the sentence. As:
    Before I had finished my homework, the telephone rang.
    Last edited by sarat_106; 07-Sep-2009 at 07:25.

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