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    #1

    What comes first in a paragraph? Past perfect or past simple?

    I read in my grammar book that while we are talking about the past, in the English language; we follow a chronology. But it was not clear for me what order speakers follow.

  1. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: What comes first in a paragraph? Past perfect or past simple?

    If you post some examples, we'll be happy to comment.

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    #3

    Re: What comes first in a paragraph? Past perfect or past simple?

    By the time I arrived, all the food had been eaten.
    The food had all been eaten by the time I arrived.

    The verb forms make the chronology clear, so the order in the sentence is not fixed.

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    #4

    Re: What comes first in a paragraph? Past perfect or past simple?

    "When we give an account of a sequence of past events, we usually put these events in chronological order with the past simple. If we want to refer to an event out of order - that is, it happened before the last event we have talked about - we use the present perfect."

    This is what was written in my book. Can someone explain?
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 08-Nov-2014 at 00:05. Reason: Sorted out formatting

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: What comes first in a paragraph? Past perfect or past simple?

    Do you mean 'past perfect'?
    Yes, that's the natural way to narrate events. You start at the chronological beginning, and narrate forwards.
    "I got up in the morning, I had a shower and then I had breakfast. Then I left work work. I had already (past perf.) fed the cat. When I arrived at work ..."
    But it would be boring if stories were written that way. It's not necessary that stories be told chronologically if you use the right techniques.

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