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    #1

    Problem with the past perfect tense.

    I looked up the word "incidental (n.)" in Longman Dictionary incidental - Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online
    and found the following explanation:
    incidental [countable usually plural]


    something that you have to do, buy etc which you had not planned to:
    Carry extra cash for taxis, tips and other incidentals.

    Here's my question: "Why is the past perfect tense used in this situation while the simple present tense (have to do) is used in the first part of the phrase?"
    Thank you very much.
    By the way, are there any errors (grammar, article, punctuation, etc.) in my post?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Problem with the past perfect tense.

    Quote Originally Posted by khanhhung2512 View Post
    Here's my question: "Why is the past perfect tense used in this situation while the simple present tense (have to do) is used in the first part of the phrasesentence?"
    An interesting question. Logic and common sense tell us that we should expect the present perfect (or past simple) here, and in my opinion, either of these would be acceptable.

    I think that the past perfect also works. Unfortunately, I can't think of a convincing reason for this at the moment. Let's see what others think.

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    #3

    Re: Problem with the past perfect tense.

    Quote Originally Posted by khanhhung2512 View Post
    Here's my question: "Why is the past perfect tense used in this situation while the simple present tense (have to do) is used in the first part of the phrasesentence?"
    Excuse me, but I think "something that you have to do, buy etc which you had not planned to" is just a noun phrase, not a whole sentence.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Problem with the past perfect tense.

    Quote Originally Posted by khanhhung2512 View Post
    Excuse me, but I think "something that you have to do, buy etc which you had not planned to" is just a noun phrase, not a whole sentence.
    You are correct in that it is not a sentence, and I should not have corrected it as I did. My apologies. My mind was working on the idea " 'Incidental' means something that you have to do, buy etc which you had not planned to", which was not actually stated.

    However, I would not call a group of words containing a complete relative clause a 'phrase'. Perhaps the safest word to use would be 'definition'.

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    #5

    Re: Problem with the past perfect tense.

    So anyway, does anyone have any idea about why the past perfect tense is used in the definition above?

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    #6

    Re: Problem with the past perfect tense.

    I planned my budget for my trip last month. Now I am on my trip. I have to purchase a few things that I had not planned to purchase when I made my budget. My incidental purchases are ones I had not planned on making.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Problem with the past perfect tense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I planned my budget for my trip last month. Now I am on my trip. I have to purchase a few things that I had not planned to purchase when I made my budget. My incidental purchases are ones I had not planned on making.
    . That's the convincing reason I couldn't think of.

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