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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
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      • Russian Federation
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    • Join Date: Nov 2013
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    Past Perfect after "Ten years ago"

    The following is taken from Harry Potter and the Philosopher Stone (first passage, chapter 2):

    Nearly ten years had passed since the Dursleys had woken up to find their nephew on the front step, but Privet Drive had hardly changed at all. The sun rose on the same tidy front gardens and lit up the brass number four on the Dursleys’ front door; it crept into their living-room, which was almost exactly the same as it had been on the night when Mr Dursley had seen that fateful news report about the owls. Only the photographs on the mantelpiece really showed how much time had passed. Ten years ago, there had been lots of pictures of what looked like a large pink beach ball wearing different-coloured bobble hats – but Dudley Dursley was no longer a baby, and now the photographs showed a large, blond boy riding his first bicycle, on a roundabout at the fair, playing a computer game with his father, being hugged and kissed by his mother.

    There's probably something I must have been missing all this time. The underlined, I don't get why the Past Perfect is used, I'd rather use the Past Simple there.

    Looked through the the articles on this site, 1 and 2, but couldn't find the answer.

    From what I've found on another forums is: ...a good writer would probably use... When you use the past perfect, you probably need to use the past perfect for all events that happened before the most recent event you describe with the past perfect...
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 19-Mar-2015 at 23:07. Reason: Removed unnecessary line breaks

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Past Perfect after "Ten years ago"

    I think simple past would work fine to replace the underlined passages, but past perfect doesn't bother me. There is certainly no changing it now.

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