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    #1

    had been/was gang-raped

    Yesterday, on the third day of the trial, the court was told that the girl had confided in her boyfriend through online messaging.

    The teenager had allegedly been gang-raped between 4am and 6am on 26 December last year.

    Should the underlined words be replaced by was? I understand that when time is mentioned (in this case 26 December), the verb should be in the simple past tense.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 21-Nov-2009 at 00:52.

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: had been/was gang-raped

    Not necessarily. When we are dealing with two time frames in the past, as well as the present moment of writing, we use the preterite and the past-perfect to show the two past moments are distinct.

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    #3

    Re: had been/was gang-raped

    You could use was, but in a court case the timing and sequence of events is important and it adds some clarity and distances the boyfriend from the crime.

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    #4

    Re: had been/was gang-raped

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Yesterday, on the third day of the trial, the court was told that the girl had confided in her boyfriend through online messaging.

    The teenager had allegedly been gang-raped between 4am and 6am on 26 December last year.

    Should the underlined words be replaced by was? I understand that when time is mentioned (in this case 26 December), the verb should be in the simple past tense.

    Thanks in advance.
    In my opinion, you could use either past perfect or simple past, and the meaning would be equally clear.

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