# Thread: Simple Past vs Past Perfect

1. ## Simple Past vs Past Perfect

1, We found the students just as shocked as we had been when we first heard about child labor.
2, We found the students just as shocked as we
were when we first heard about child labor.

"had been" in Sentence 1 takes Past Perfect form, which here is used as "past of past" because at the moment "we found" we "had been shocked" in the past before that.

However, in Sentence 2, both "found" and "were"takes the same simple past forms.

3, He was surprised as I was.
4, He was surprised as I had been.

Sentence 3 tells that two facts took place at the same time, while Sentence 4 tells I was surprised first then after that he was surprised.

Questions:
1, Any difference between 1 and 2?
2, Are both 1 and 2 are correct, natural, acceptable?
3, What Sentences 3 and 4 mean are always different?

2. ## Re: Simple Past vs Past Perfect

Originally Posted by KEN JPN

Questions:
1, Any difference between 1 and 2? In meaning? No, the context is clear.
2, Are both 1 and 2 are correct, natural, acceptable?
Yes.
3, What Sentences 3 and 4 mean are always different?
3 is ambiguous.

3 can mean the same as 4, but if you want the meaning to be clear, you'd need to add some adverbial clause as you have done in 1 and 2.

3. ## Re: Simple Past vs Past Perfect

Thanks.

1, When I arrived at the station, the train already left.
2, When I arrived at the station, the train

Can these two mean the same?
Is it OK to say, "When I arrived at the station, the train already left one hour before" ?

4. ## Re: Simple Past vs Past Perfect

Originally Posted by KEN JPN
Thanks.

1, When I arrived at the station, the train already left.
2, When I arrived at the station, the train

Can these two mean the same?
Is it OK to say, "When I arrived at the station, the train already left one hour before" ?
#1 is wrong.

5. ## Re: Simple Past vs Past Perfect

Originally Posted by KEN JPN
Is it OK to say, "When I arrived at the station, the train already left one hour before" ?
No.

6. ## Re: Simple Past vs Past Perfect

Thank you, bhaisahab and Raymotto.
You two confirm my understanding.

1, Past perfect is not always grammatical obligation. When the time order is clear from the context, Simple Past can be used when Past Perfect (past of past) is used.
2, However, if one past time point is set, and another past point must clearly mean that it 'had been' before the first past, it cannot take a simple past form.

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