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    #1

    past perfect for past simple

    "Within two days the situation calmed down. Lots of criminals and looters had been caught by people and had been handed over to the military police."

    Is the past perfect used to emphasize the sequence of events?

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    #2

    Re: past perfect for past simple

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "Within two days the situation calmed down. Lots of criminals and looters had been caught by people and had been handed over to the military police."

    Is the past perfect used to emphasize the sequence of events?
    Not really; The simple past ("were") could just as properly be used in place of the past perfect in your example. Also, if the past perfect is used, "had been" need not be repeated in the second clause.

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    #3

    Re: past perfect for past simple

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    Not really; The simple past ("were") could just as properly be used in place of the past perfect in your example. Also, if the past perfect is used, "had been" need not be repeated in the second clause.
    Here goes another extract from the same text.

    "They'd forgotten that just a few days ago these policemen had suddenly vanished, and that they had left us alone in the ansuing chaos."

    I'm getting the feeling that it was written by a non-native speaker. Would I be right?
    Last edited by ostap77; 18-Nov-2011 at 22:32.

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    #4

    Re: past perfect for past simple

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Here goes another extract from the same text.

    "They'd forgotten that just a few days ago these policemen had suddenly vanished, and that they had left us alone in the ensuing chaos."

    I'm getting the feeling that it was written by a non-native speaker. Would I be right?
    That particular sentence sounds as if it could have been written by a native speaker, apart from the spelling of "ensuing".

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    #5

    Re: past perfect for past simple

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    That particular sentence sounds as if it could have been written by a native speaker, apart from the spelling of "ensuing".
    Getting back to what asked in post#1, is the past perfect used to emphasize the sequence of events that happened in the past? Why wouldn't the speaker use the past simple?

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    #6

    Re: past perfect for past simple

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Getting back to what asked in post#1, is the past perfect used to emphasize the sequence of events that happened in the past? Why wouldn't the speaker use the past simple?
    I would not consider it a question of emphasis, but rather, simply a case of preference. Past perfect and past simple are often used interchangeably.

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