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    #1

    I had read it before.

    John: You must read this novel.

    Me: I had read it before.
    I have read it.
    I read it.

    Can you please tell me which answer is grammatical? and If I want to say 'before' does my answer must be in Past Perfect?
    Last edited by ercantuncer; 15-Jan-2015 at 19:37.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I had read it before.

    I have read it (before).

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    #3

    Re: I had read it before.

    You have identified three different 'aspects': past perfect, present perfect, and past simple.They are all grammatically correct but they have different meanings. Your next objective is to check out the different meanings, and hopefully you will find the answer. To your second question the answer is no. (When you translate language from your native language into English, remember - translate the meaning, not the literal words.)

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    #4

    Re: I had read it before.

    The aspects jutfrank identifies are quite difficult, also note the verb "read" is an exception because it does not change form for past tense.

    Take this example:

    Mother: "You must clean your room" -> tense is present so present perfect matches well i.e. "I have cleaned it".

    Simple past i.e. "I cleaned it." is probably acceptable if the cleaning was done in the past.

    Past perfect can be used where the context is the past e.g. My mother told (past tense) me "You must clean your room".

    "I told her I had cleaned it" (in the past, but before she spoke) or "And so I cleaned it" (in the past but after she spoke).


    Also note correction re: If I want to say 'before' does my answer must be in Past Perfect?

    1) If I want to say 'before' does my answer have to be in Past Perfect?

    or

    2) If I want to say 'before' must my answer be in Past Perfect?

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