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    #1

    The necessity of Past Perfect usage

    I became entangled in Past Perfect tense.
    There are two sentences:
    Marry went when Peter came.
    Marry had gone when Peter came.

    They are equally.
    If we change the order of the clauses we will have to use only Past Perfect tense to show what happened first: When Peter came Marry had gone.
    There is the same situation with the usage of prepositions.
    Marry went before Peter came. Because of word before it's clear what happened first and it's unnecessary to use Past Perfect.
    Before Peter came Marry went.

    Do we need to use Past Perfect if it's clear in the sentence what happened first?


  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The necessity of Past Perfect usage

    I think you probably mean "Mary" (female name), not "Marry" (verb).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: The necessity of Past Perfect usage

    Marry went when Peter came.
    Marry had gone when Peter came.
    They are equally.
    Not to me- the first implies that Peter arrived and then Mary left and the second that her departure was before his arrival.

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    #4

    Re: The necessity of Past Perfect usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Not to me- the first implies that Peter arrived and then Mary left and the second that her departure was before his arrival.
    Yes, I have choosen not correct example.
    I mean:
    Mary went when Peter came.
    Mary went when Peter had come.

    There is another one:
    After the Sun had set, we saw thousands of fireflies. (I)
    After the Sun set, we saw thousands of fireflies. (II)


    We have two actions and one happened before the second one. It means we must use Past Perfect tense.

    In the second sentence because of the word after it's clear what happened first and it's unnecessary to use Past Perfect. Am I right?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I think you probably mean "Mary" (female name), not "Marry" (verb).
    Yes, of course, I mean Mary.
    Last edited by Evgeniy Markin; 24-Jun-2013 at 22:03.

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    #5

    Re: The necessity of Past Perfect usage

    It seems to me that I have realised the difference between these three sentences:
    After the Sun had set, we saw thousands of fireflies. (I)
    After the Sun set, we saw thousands of fireflies. (II)
    Mary went when Peter came. (III)

    The second one means that each time after the Sun set we saw thousands of fireflies. (repetitive action!)

    In contrast to the first sentence which means we saw the fireflies that day. (single action!)

    In the third sentence we don't need to use Past Perfect if we are talking about the situation which took place around now. The word when means the actions happened with a slight difference in time.
    Last edited by Evgeniy Markin; 24-Jun-2013 at 22:14.

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    #6

    Re: The necessity of Past Perfect usage

    Quote Originally Posted by Evgeniy Markin View Post
    After the Sun had set, we saw thousands of fireflies. (I)
    After the Sun set, we saw thousands of fireflies. (II)
    Mary went when Peter came. (III)

    The second one means that each time after the Sun set we saw thousands of fireflies. (repetitive action).
    No, it doesn't. There is nothing here to suggest that this is a habitual or repetitive action.
    1 and 2 mean pretty much the same thing. I'm not sure why you included 3 as it doesn't have "after".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: The necessity of Past Perfect usage

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    1 and 2 mean pretty much the same thing. I'm not sure why you included 3 as it doesn't have "after".
    As far as my question is concerned it's about the necessity of Past Perfect tense usage.

    By definition Past Perfect tense is used for actions that happened before related past events or times. It's written here Past Perfect - Glossary Definition - UsingEnglish.com.
    Therefore the sentence 2 is not correct.
    After the Sun had set, we saw thousands of fireflies. (1)
    After the Sun set, we saw thousands of fireflies. (2)

    There is another example:
    Mary went when Peter came.
    Why don't we say like this: Mary went when Peter had come.?

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    #8

    Re: The necessity of Past Perfect usage

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    1 and 2 mean pretty much the same thing. I'm not sure why you included 3 as it doesn't have "after".
    As far as my question is concerned it's about the necessity of Past Perfect tense usage.

    By defenition Past Perfect tense is used for actions that happened before related past events or times. It's written here Past Perfect - Glossary Definition - UsingEnglish.com.
    Therefore the sentence 2 is not correct.
    After the Sun had set, we saw thousands of fireflies. (1)
    After the Sun set, we saw thousands of fireflies. (2)


    There is another example:
    Mary went when Peter came.
    Why don't we say like this: Mary went when Peter had come.?

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    #9

    Re: The necessity of Past Perfect usage

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    1 and 2 mean pretty much the same thing. I'm not sure why you included 3 as it doesn't have "after".

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    1 and 2 mean pretty much the same thing. I'm not sure why you included 3 as it doesn't have "after".
    As far as my question is concerned it's about the necessity of Past Perfect tense usage.

    By defenition Past Perfect tense is used for actions that happened before related past events or times. It's written here Past Perfect - Glossary Definition - UsingEnglish.com.
    Therefore the sentence 2 is not correct.
    After the Sun had set, we saw thousands of fireflies. (1)
    After the Sun set, we saw thousands of fireflies. (2)

    There is another example:
    Mary went when Peter came.
    Why don't we say like this: Mary went when Peter had come.?

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