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    #1

    Before with past

    Hi guys,

    Please check these sentences.

    1) I already knew or had already known him when I came here.

    2) Before coming here I had already known him.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Before with past

    This is about sequencing events in the past. The sequence is 1) I knew him, then 2) I came here.

    We can use the past perfect tense (had known) to establish that the knowing was first. But in each sentence there is another word that sequences the events: already and before. Because of those words, the simple past tense also works.

    So you can say:

    I already knew him when I came here.
    I had already known him when I came here.
    Before coming here, I knew him.
    Before coming here, I had already known him.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Before with past

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    But in each sentence there is another word that sequences the events: already and before
    Can such words as "after", "then" and "until" also sequence events? Any others?

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    #4

    Re: Before with past

    I am not a teacher.

    I wouldn't use "had already known" unless qualified by a period of time.

    "I had already known him for 2 years when I came here." or,
    "Before coming here I had already known him for ages."

    It would only make sense to me to say, "I had already known him when I came here" if between then and now I had stopped knowing him.

    This is because of the nature of the verb. "To know" isn't an action, it's a state.

    If the verb had been dynamic, like "to do" it would be natural to say "I had already done that..."

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