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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    past simple or past perfect???

    Dear teachers

    Please, the following sentence is correct (according to the key of a textbook)...

    Mr Wolf worked at the bank for 25 years before his retirement last May.

    I have chosen HAD worked and I do not understand why my choise is incorrect...Please, can you help???
    Thank you a lot. KP

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    #2

    Re: past simple or past perfect???

    I'd like to know that either.


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    #3

    Re: past simple or past perfect???

    Both are possible. When the sequence of events in the past is clear, no resort is required to the use of the past perfect.


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    #4

    Re: past simple or past perfect???

    ...no resort is required to the use of the past perfect.

    ...no resort to the use of (the Past Perfect) is required.

    Consider:
    "Mr. Wolf was convicted today of embezzlement of funds from Bank of America. Mr Wolf had worked at the bank for 25 years before his retirement last May."

    compare:
    When the Past Perfect is used in the very FIRST sentence of a passage - no prior information is given - it indicates that an action comes after this that is unexpected (or different to what we thought would happen).

    Be wary: Americans seem to use the Past Perfect most of the time, when just the Simple Past tense is called for.

    First line of a romantic novel:
    I had asked (Past Perfect) for her hand in marriage three times, and three times I had been rejected, when, in my hour of deepest despair, a letter in her delicate handwriting arrived, (Simple Past tense), with expressions of such tender love as my ears...

    Be wary: Americans tend to use the Past Perfect most of the time at the beginning of a sentence (and sequence of actions) when the Simple Past tense is called for.
    Last edited by Excalibur; 11-Nov-2009 at 13:43.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: past simple or past perfect???

    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    Be wary: Americans tend to use the Past Perfect most of the time at the beginning of a sentence (and sequence of actions) when the Simple Past tense is called for.
    This is no reason to be wary, even if it were true.
    Do you mean 'Be aware'?

    PS: Are you David L. come back to entertain us under a new name?
    Last edited by Raymott; 11-Nov-2009 at 20:32.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: past simple or past perfect???

    Quote Originally Posted by greegorush View Post
    I'd like to know that either.
    I'd like to know that as well.

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: past simple or past perfect???

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Dear teachers

    Please, the following sentence is correct (according to the key of a textbook)...

    Mr Wolf worked at the bank for 25 years before his retirement last May.

    I have chosen HAD worked and I do not understand why my choise is incorrect...Please, can you help???
    Thank you a lot. KP
    Both are correct.

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    #8

    Re: past simple or past perfect???

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Dear teachers

    Please, the following sentence is correct (according to the key of a textbook)...

    Mr Wolf worked at the bank for 25 years before his retirement last May.

    I have chosen HAD worked and I do not understand why my choise is incorrect...Please, can you help???
    Thank you a lot. KP
    Both are possible. As Svartnik has pointed out, the past perfect is generally not used (by AmE or BrE speakers) when the sequence of events is clear on the basis of either sense or context.


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    #9

    Re: past simple or past perfect???

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    PS: Are you David L. come back to entertain us under a new name?
    If that is so, I will perform hara-kiri.

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