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    #1

    How can I make this sentence sould better?

    What would you make of this sentence? It's a rather clumsy sentence. Then again, with the the five actions occured in turn in the past, it seems inevitable for me that I've got to put it this way.

    I had eaten an icecream at 10:33, had had a sandwich at 10:34, had drunk a bear at 10:38, had talked to Sam at 10:43, before I left the building.

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    #2

    Re: How can I make this sentence sould better?

    Wrong tense used - you don't use the past perfect tense for an action which occurred at a specific point of time in the past.

    not a teacher


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    #3

    Re: How can I make this sentence sould better?

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    What would you make of this sentence? It's a rather clumsy sentence. Then again, with the the five actions occured in turn in the past, it seems inevitable for me that I've got to put it this way.

    I had eaten an icecream at 10:33, had had a sandwich at 10:34, had drunk a bear at 10:38, had talked to Sam at 10:43, before I left the building.
    Use the simple past here. The past perfect is correct in a structural way, but it's clearly not necessary and it does not sound at all like natural language. Also, this is a series of events or actions, and to introduce the last event or action, I would use "then".

    I ate an ice cream at 10:30, had a sandwich at 11:00, drank a beer at 11:15, talked to Sam at 11:30, and then I left the building.

    Here are a few examples of the past perfect.

    I had already spoken to Sam before I left the building.

    By the time Sam called, I had already eaten lunch.

    At 12:30, I had already eaten lunch, so I told Sam we could have lunch tomorrow.

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    #4

    Re: How can I make this sentence sould better?

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    What would you make of this sentence? It's a rather clumsy sentence. Then again, with the the five actions occured in turn in the past, it seems inevitable for me that I've got to put it this way.

    I had eaten an icecream at 10:33, had had a sandwich at 10:34, had drunk a bear at 10:38, had talked to Sam at 10:43, before I left the building.
    The most natural way here has already been pointed out by PROESL.
    However, if you insist using the past perfect (which again PROESL has asserted is correct in a structural way), I think you do not need to repeat the auxiliary had, that is, avoiding clumsiness, you could say for instance:

    Before I left the building, I had eaten an icecream at 10:33, had a sandwich at 10:34, drunk a beer at 10:38 and talked to Sam at 10:43.

    I mean the had is to be understood here, and the sentences are in the past perfect. I would like a native speaker to confirm (or contradict) my opinion.

    PS Not a native speaker.


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    #5

    Re: How can I make this sentence sould better?

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    The most natural way here has already been pointed out by PROESL.
    However, if you insist using the past perfect (which again PROESL has asserted is correct in a structural way), I think you do not need to repeat the auxiliary had, that is, avoiding clumsiness, you could say for instance:

    Before I left the building, I had eaten an icecream at 10:33, had a sandwich at 10:34, drunk a beer at 10:38 and talked to Sam at 10:43.

    I mean the had is to be understood here, and the sentences are in the past perfect. I would like a native speaker to confirm (or contradict) my opinion.

    PS Not a native speaker.
    Yes, you can leave out the auxiliary, but there's something about it, in my opinion, that seems to detract from the clarity of the sentence. Those past participles seem to be a bit disconnected. I would expect such a pattern to be more natural with the present perfect.

    By the way, it's "insist on" or "insist upon".
    Last edited by PROESL; 19-Oct-2009 at 03:12. Reason: left out an indefinite article - fast typing "a pattern"

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    #6

    Re: How can I make this sentence sould better?

    Thanks, PROESL, ymnisky and tedtmc. You've completely solved my puzzle.

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