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    #1

    try to learn the past perfect

    "The cafe was situated roughly in the center of the wide alley, its premises once a nineteenth-century office building a number of cubicles had been taken down to allow for a large barroom and tables;.........''

    What would be the difference if I substituted the past simple for the past perfect as in " ......cubicles had been....."? I mean "were taken down...".
    Last edited by ostap77; 07-Jan-2012 at 16:58.

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    #2

    Re: try to learn the past perfect

    The past perfect suggests the far more likely situation of the cubicles being taken down before the scene being described. The past simple would suggest that the taking down happened at the same time as, or soon after, the scene described.

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    #3

    Re: try to learn the past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    The past perfect suggests the far more likely situation of the cubicles being taken down before the scene being described. The past simple would suggest that the taking down happened at the same time as, or soon after, the scene described.
    I hope you're not going to get mad at me. Here's another extract fron the book I've been reading "Bourne understood their confusion. He had walked with an absence of panic out of the Gemeinschaft's glass doors into the crowd. He had been prepared to run, but he had not run, for fear of being stopped until he was reasonably clear of the entrance.No one else had been permitted to do so-and the driver of the Peugeot had not made the connection."

    There's a sequence of past perfects here. Would the author be trying to emphasize the sequence of events? Could it be "He walked.............He was prepared.......but he didn't run.......No one else was permitted.......... the Peugeot didn't..............."?

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    #4

    Re: try to learn the past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    I hope you're not going to get mad at me. Here's another extract fron the book I've been reading "Bourne understood their confusion. He had walked with an absence of panic out of the Gemeinschaft's glass doors into the crowd. He had been prepared to run, but he had not run, for fear of being stopped until he was reasonably clear of the entrance.No one else had been permitted to do so-and the driver of the Peugeot had not made the connection."

    There's a sequence of past perfects here. Would the author be trying to emphasize the sequence of events? Could it be "He walked.............He was prepared.......but he didn't run.......No one else was permitted.......... the Peugeot didn't..............."?
    Without a lot more context, it is impossible to say for certain.

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    #5

    Re: try to learn the past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Without a lot more context, it is impossible to say for certain.
    It's the beginning of a paragraph. It goes on with "He had not recognized the target identified and marked for execution in Marseilles."

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