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  1. #1
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Today was the first time I saw/I had seen

    Are the following sentences both correct?

    Today was the first time I saw a 22 Degree Halo, Rainbow around the sun.

    Today was the first time I had seen a 22 Degree Halo, Rainbow around the sun.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    mayita1usa's Avatar
    mayita1usa is offline Member
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    Re: Today was the first time I saw/I had seen

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    a) Today was the first time I saw a 22 Degree Halo, Rainbow around the sun.
    b) Today was the first time I had seen a 22 Degree Halo, Rainbow around the sun.
    Yes; as with most verb questions, it depends on your intended meaning:
    a) the simple past emphasizes the completed action;
    b) the past perfect gives the sense that you're telling a story about a completed action, but that action is still relevant, either emotionally or because you are going to continue talking about it.

    If you want to give the action even more current relevance (say, if you're still really excited about it), you could use the present perfect:
    c) Today was the first time I have seen a 22 Degree Halo, Rainbow around the sun.

    One other comment, not related to your question: Are you sure you are using capitalization and the comma correctly in these sentences? I'm not familiar with whatever scientific terminology is used here, but if I were to write the sentence myself, I would write it this way:
    Today was the first time I've (ever) seen a 22-degree halo rainbow around the sun!

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: Today was the first time I saw/I had seen

    I can't make the "had seen" work at all.

    I quite agree that "22-degree halo rainbow" is much better.
    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. #4
    mayita1usa's Avatar
    mayita1usa is offline Member
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    Re: Today was the first time I saw/I had seen

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I can't make the "had seen" work at all.
    The only way I can make it work is if it is part of a longer story in which seeing the rainbow happened in the past before something else in the past... I guess I should have explained that better! (Or maybe I still haven't explained it well....)

  5. #5
    Winwin2011 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Today was the first time I saw/I had seen

    I googled “It was the first time + past prefect. I read the following:
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    “In last night's final Mark peters defeated Ed Myers in 3 sets. "It was the first time" in six attempts that peters has beaten the world champion.”

    The thread was answered by a native speaker as follows:

    The correct sequence is:

    This is the first time that he has beaten...
    That/This was the first time that he had beaten...


    __________________________________________________ ____________________

    Is it correct to use “past perfect” in the above context?

    Are the following sentences natural?

    1. I was in Japan last Christmas. It was my first time I saw snowing.
    2. I was in Japan last Christmas. It was my first time I had seen snowing.
    Last edited by Winwin2011; 29-Apr-2013 at 06:46.

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