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    #1

    made sure / ensured / tried to know who sent me the email

    Hi,

    Question:
    Which verb will you use in my sentence?

    Sentence:

    Before I replied to the email, I made sure/ensured/tried to know who sent me the email.


    My opinion:

    I think "make sure" is correct.

    Thanks

  1. Huda-M's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: made sure / ensured / tried to know who sent me the email

    Yes, I also think that made sure is correct.
    PS I am not a teacher.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: made sure / ensured / tried to know who sent me the email

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    Hi,

    Question:
    Which verb will you use in my sentence?

    Sentence:

    Before I replied to the email, I made sure/ensured/tried to know who sent me the email.


    My opinion:

    I think "make sure" is correct.

    Thanks
    You really need something like:
    Before I replied to the email, I made sure/ensured/ that I knew who sent it to me. [Don't write email twice]

    The last one doesn't work.

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    #4

    Re: made sure / ensured / tried to know who sent me the email

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You really need something like:
    Before I replied to the email, I made sure/ensured/ that I knew who sent it to me. [Don't write email twice]

    The last one doesn't work.
    You could also say:

    'Before I replied to the email, I checked [that I knew] who'd sent it to me.'

    Note the past perfect is preferable here - '... who'd [ie who had] sent it to me' - since you are talking about an action (sending the email) that preceded the past action of the main clause (checking who'd sent it).

    I would say the past perfect is correct here but Raymott didn't correct it and I respect Raymott's understanding of the language. I assume there's a reason he retained the past simple although I can't see it. Maybe he could comment?

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: made sure / ensured / tried to know who sent me the email

    Quote Originally Posted by bertietheblue View Post
    I would say the past perfect is correct here but Raymott didn't correct it and I respect Raymott's understanding of the language. I assume there's a reason he retained the past simple although I can't see it. Maybe he could comment?
    There is absolutely no need for the past perfect in a sentence that reads "Before I did A, I did B".
    "Before I did A, I had done B" This is pointless. You'd need a good reason to say that.

    The reason I did not change the poster's sentence was that it was correct.

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    #6

    Re: made sure / ensured / tried to know who sent me the email

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    There is absolutely no need for the past perfect in a sentence that reads "Before I did A, I did B".
    "Before I did A, I had done B" This is pointless. You'd need a good reason to say that.

    The reason I did not change the poster's sentence was that it was correct.
    My reason has nothing to do with the 'Before' clause so this point is invalid. In fact, let's ignore that clause. Simply, which is correct?

    I checked who'd sent the email
    I checked who sent the email

    I would have thought the 1st since the subordinate clause is talking about an event that precedes the past event in the main clause; in other words, it is talking about a 'past the past' (ie past perfect) event

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    #7

    Question Re: made sure / ensured / tried to know who sent me the email

    Dear Bertie and Raymott,

    I would just like to mention that it is a consolation (in lack of a better word) for me to see that even sophisticated, native English speakers can have different opinions about the use of Past Perfect. You can well imagine how difficult it can be for other speakers whose native language has only three tenses, such as present, past and future.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    There is absolutely no need for the past perfect in a sentence that reads "Before I did A, I did B".
    "Before I did A, I had done B" This is pointless. You'd need a good reason to say that.
    This was one of the first questions I asked here, and thanks to your enlightening answer , I wouldn't want to say "I had known her before I met you" anymore. However, I kind of feel that Bertietheblue's example ('Before I replied to the email, I checked [that I knew] who'd sent it to me.') is not as straightforward as mine was. Why? Because we have to deal with a third action that had already happened even before I checked my email. It's not the case "Before I replied to the email, I had checked...." (which is deemed to be wrong), but before all of this (and "before" is not written here) someone had sent me an email.

    Do I make sense, or am I wrong? Thank you in advance for your answer.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: made sure / ensured / tried to know who sent me the email

    Quote Originally Posted by bertietheblue View Post
    My reason has nothing to do with the 'Before' clause so this point is invalid. In fact, let's ignore that clause. Simply, which is correct?

    I checked who'd sent the email
    I checked who sent the email
    They're both correct.

    I would have thought the 1st since the subordinate clause is talking about an event that precedes the past event in the main clause; in other words, it is talking about a 'past the past' (ie past perfect) event
    Well, I'm sorry if this is new to you, Bertie, but you can mention two or more things that happened in the past, even if they're related without using the past perfect tense - if it's obvious that one occurred before the other (if it matters).

    With a sentence like "Before I replied, I made sure I knew who sent the mail", the order of events has to be like this: 1. The mail was sent, 2. I found out who sent it 3. I checked to make sure I was right. 4. I replied.
    Last edited by Raymott; 04-Jun-2010 at 23:14.

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    #9

    Re: made sure / ensured / tried to know who sent me the email

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Mav~ View Post
    However, I kind of feel that Bertietheblue's example ('Before I replied to the email, I checked [that I knew] who'd sent it to me.') is not as straightforward as mine was. Why? Because we have to deal with a third action that had already happened even before I checked my email.
    See above.

    It's not the case "Before I replied to the email, I had checked...." (which is deemed to be wrong),
    No. No one is deeming the past perfect to be wrong. All I said was that it was unnecessary to tell the original poster that he was wrong for not using it.
    I consider they are both correct. It is Bertie that is asserting that one version is wrong. I think it's a case of an English teacher being so blinded by formal grammar that he can't remember how people actually speak.

    My main point is this: Why would you say:
    1. "I had unlocked the door before I entered" rather than:
    2. "I unlocked the door before I entered"?
    There are some situations where 1. would be better. In most cases, it's unnecessary.

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    #10

    Re: made sure / ensured / tried to know who sent me the email

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Well, I'm sorry if this is new to you, Bertie, but you can mention two or more things that happened in the past, even if they're related without using the past perfect tense - if it's obvious that one occurred before the other (if it matters).

    With a sentence like "Before I replied, I made sure I knew who sent the mail", the order of events has to be like this: 1. The mail was sent, 2. I found out who sent it 3. I checked to make sure I was right. 4. I replied.
    Yeah, go on, I'll concede that. I'd probably use the past simple myself in fact, now that I think about it. Oh, well. One a week, Raymott! But I hope the day I correct you legitimately you will ackowledge your error in a reply.

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