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    #1

    use of Past perfect tense for single event/action

    which of the following is correct. can Past perfect be used for single action/event?

    Mr. Desai who had taught us English passed away (Past perfect)
    Mr.Desai who taught us English passed away (Past simple)

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    #2

    Re: use of Past perfect tense for single event/action

    Welcome to the forum danavkar.

    Where did you find these badly punctuated sentences?

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    #3

    Re: use of Past perfect tense for single event/action

    Thanks for the reply & correction
    This must be
    Mr. Desai, who had taught us English, passed away (Past perfect)
    Mr.Desai, who taught us English, passed away (Past simple)

    Many grammar books suggest that there must be two past events to use past perfect tense. Past perfect express the idea that something happened before another action in the past or before a specific time in the past.
    I want to know, can't we use past perfect tense for single event/action in past?

    e.g. he had called me last week regarding this problem.
    We had submitted all the documents last month
    she had bought many item from super market

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    #4

    Re: use of Past perfect tense for single event/action

    Hi!
    Your first two sentences contain two events: the both statements are correct depending on the speaker's intention. In sentence A, when Mr.Desai died he was still teaching English; while in B, Mr.Desai died after he finished teaching English.

    Your next sentences are also correct grammatically, but they are not complete: There is no need to use past perfect tense; it is enough to write or narrate the event using past simple tense.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 20-Apr-2015 at 08:51. Reason: Deleting unnecessary quote.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: use of Past perfect tense for single event/action

    he had called me last week regarding this problem.
    We had submitted all the documents last month
    she had bought many item from super market


    You might have misread Rover's suggestion about punctuation. You need to start all sentences with a capital and end all sentences with the appropriate mark, usually a period. This is not optional in English.

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    #6

    Re: use of Past perfect tense for single event/action

    angls, welcome to the forum, but please correct the information in your profile and read the following extract from the rules:

    You are welcome to answer questions posted in the Ask a Teacher forum as long as your suggestions, help, and advice reflect a good understanding of the English language. If you are not a teacher, you will need to state that clearly at the top of your post.

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    #7

    Re: use of Past perfect tense for single event/action

    Quote Originally Posted by danavkar View Post
    Past perfect express the idea that something happened before another action in the past or before a specific time in the past
    Yes
    Quote Originally Posted by danavkar View Post
    I want to know, can't we use past perfect tense for single event/action in past?

    e.g. he had called me last week regarding this problem.

    We had submitted all the documents last month

    she had bought many item from super market
    Only if the context makes it clear that some other past event has happened. As single sentences, no.


    Please do pay attention to your capitalization and punctuation as you were asked to do.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: use of Past perfect tense for single event/action

    Thanks Barb.

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    #9

    Re: use of Past perfect tense for single event/action

    There is no need to write a new post just to say "Thank you". It makes us think there is new information or a follow-up question and we spend time opening the thread. Simply click on the "Thank" button at the bottom left-hand corner of any post you find helpful. It saves everybody's time.

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