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  1. Junior Member
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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
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      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Mar 2015
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    Past perfect and Past Simple

    I'm little bit confused with the usage of them two tenses.
    it is clear to me that we use Past Perfect when we talk about the past and we want to talk about something that had happened before something else happened.
    so according the rules, this sentence makes scene:
    when they had finished their shopping, they set out for a stroll to see the sights of the town.
    But this one got me totally confused:
    the local police put the confused passengers on a train for Paris and they SLEPT most of the way - all too soundly in fact they MISSED their connection and woke up in Basel in Switzerland!

    So, here goes a stupid question :
    IF they slept and missed their connection, they missed they connection because they overslept, why is it - SLEPT and not HAD SLEPT ?

    and another one
    and before they woke up - they missed their connection - why not HAD MISSED?

    I'm very confused when we tell a story and one thing happens after another which ones we put in PAST PERFECT and which in PAST SIMPLE and why?

    thank you in advance

  2. Roman55's Avatar
    Key Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Feb 2014
    • Posts: 2,509

    Re: Past perfect and Past Simple

    I am not a teacher.

    If there is a series of events in a narration, the simple past is quite correct.

    They boarded the train, they slept, they missed their connection, they woke up. The reader is following the events as they unfold.

    'They boarded the train and went to sleep. By the time they woke up they were in Basel, and they realised that they had missed their connection.' The reader is at the end of the story looking back at a completed action.

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