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    #1

    had been or was

    In a book about physics, written by Steve Weinberg "The first three minutes" published in New York in 1977, it says:

    "It was realized that this was just the perturbation that had been observed in 1941". Why did he say "had been" not "was" ? Is it because he wanted to put emphasis on the fact that it happened in 1941?

  1. Tullia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: had been or was

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    In a book about physics, written by Steve Weinberg "The first three minutes" published in New York in 1977, it says:

    "It was realized that this was just the perturbation that had been observed in 1941". Why did he say "had been" not "was" ? Is it because he wanted to put emphasis on the fact that it happened in 1941?
    I'm not sure if I'd call it a pluperfect of state or action; it's maybe a little bit of both to be honest. (But it is certainly better as a pluperfect rather than a simple past tense in my opinion.)

    The main part of the sentence is already in the past tense (was). As 1941 is further into the past, he has used a tense to indicate that. (pluperfect of action)

    It could also be called a pluperfect of state though, since if it hadn't been observed in 1941, the realisation described couldn't have happened.


    This link might help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluperfect

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    #3

    Re: had been or was

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullia View Post
    I'm not sure if I'd call it a pluperfect of state or action; it's maybe a little bit of both to be honest. (But it is certainly better as a pluperfect rather than a simple past tense in my opinion.)

    The main part of the sentence is already in the past tense (was). As 1941 is further into the past, he has used a tense to indicate that. (pluperfect of action)

    It could also be called a pluperfect of state though, since if it hadn't been observed in 1941, the realisation described couldn't have happened.


    This link might help: Pluperfect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Yhank you very much for clarification!

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    #4

    Re: had been or was

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    In a book about physics, written by Steve Weinberg "The first three minutes" published in New York in 1977, it says:

    "It was realized that this was just the perturbation that had been observed in 1941". Why did he say "had been" not "was" ? Is it because he wanted to put emphasis on the fact that it happened in 1941?
    Draw a timeline. At some point in the past, someone realized something. At that time s/he said or thought 'Hang on! Isn't this the same perturbation that was seen back in 1941? ' Put it into indirect speech, and what do you do with the verb in the simple past?

    b

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    #5

    Re: had been or was

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Draw a timeline. At some point in the past, someone realized something. At that time s/he said or thought 'Hang on! Isn't this the same perturbation that was seen back in 1941? ' Put it into indirect speech, and what do you do with the verb in the simple past?

    b
    Guess it goes one tense back?

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    #6

    Re: had been or was



    b

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    #7

    Re: had been or was

    Hello, every one.

    Is it necessay to use pluperfect here?

    If we don't have any further context, the pluperfect here may be necessary, for it helps clarify the time span between two past actions.

    But what if we've already know the time in the main part of the sentence is set after 1941? People would get the meaning anyhow, with or without the use of pluperfect.

    Thanks

    Richard

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    #8

    Re: had been or was

    The language wasn't designed by William of Ockham - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    b

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