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    past tense and past participle

    What is the difference between past tense and past participle ? The sentences ' I wrote a story' and 'I had written a story' do they give the same meaning

  1. Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    Re: past tense and past participle

    Do you mean the difference between simple past and past perfect?

    Simple past records a finished event, unconnected semantically to the present or any other point in time. Your first example is a typical and an excellent one. The story is finished-- end of story.

    Past perfect records a past event which is meant to be represented as holding a relationship with another past-time event. Consequently, your second sentence is semantically incomplete-- it requires further information. For instance:

    I had written a story only once when I was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

    Past perfect is relatively rare; when used, it is often unnecessary and should be avoided unless it is part of the association of two past-time events in the context AND their temporal relationship is unclear or needs stress.

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