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    #1

    Wimbledon 2005 was the best torunament in my career./Wimbledon 2005 had been the b...

    Hello all!

    When can I use the following two sentences? Wimbledon 2005 was the best torunament in my career./Wimbledon 2005 had been the best torunament in my career.

    The past perfect is used to recount a past occurrence that was further back in the past than another (expressed or implicit) past occurrence. Wimbledon 2005 is a past event. Are you situating Wimbledon 2005 at a point earlier than another past event? If so, what's the other past event? I can't see one in that sentence. If there isn't one, then the past simple must be used: "Wimbledon 2005 was the best tournament in my career". - the past perfect would be wrong. I'll be very surprised if you can find a grammar book that says otherwise.

    Now I did use the past perfect in my explanatory sentence: "Wimbledon 2005 was (at the time) the best tournament you had ever played in up to that moment." The past occurrence serving as the reference point is 'Wimbledon 2005' (it was, in 2005: past simple). The subordinate clause, "you had ever played in up to that moment", refers additionally to all the tournaments you had played in before 2005, so the past perfect is used: all those other tournaments had occurred earlier than Wimbledon 2005.

    I got this answer (quoted text) from one native speaker a few weeks ago. Could someone explain me how it was meant to be, please? How do you understand it? I mean I donīt understand when I should use past simple in the Wimbledon 2005 sentence.

    ------


    Here is my own context for using past perfect (hope it is okay)

    " I remember playing at Wimbledon 2005 very well. I played some of my best tennis there and the crowd was amazing. That Wimbledon had been the best tournament in my career. I had never played a better tennis at any tournament until that magic one. Unfortunately I could not continue producing some of my best tennis in years to come after I broke my leg two month later and had to give up on my career of a professional player. "(I am telling this story in 2015) Am I right that past perfect wouldnīt be wrong in this sentence? I am using past perfect as I want to emphasize that W 05 had been a better tournament than any other which had been played until 2005.

    -But I can not imagine a context for telling a similar story where past simple could be used. Could you help me to create one, please? In my opinion there always has to be some context behind it which would make past perfect a correct tense to use here.

    Thank you very much!

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Wimbledon 2005 was the best torunament in my career./Wimbledon 2005 had been the

    In the first, you are simply saying it was the best uopn until the time when you were uttering that expression. In the second you are saying it was the best until you achieved something even better

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    #3

    Re: Wimbledon 2005 was the best torunament in my career./Wimbledon 2005 had been the

    Thank you for you explanation probus.

    So I assume the usage of past perfect in the sentence below is correct, isnīt it?


    " I remember playing at Wimbledon 2005 very well. I played some of my best tennis there and the crowd was amazing. That Wimbledon had been the best tournament in my career. I had never played a better tennis at any tournament until that magic one. Unfortunately I could not continue producing some of my best tennis in years to come after I broke my leg two month later and had to give up on my career of a professional player. "(I am telling this story in 2015)

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    #4

    Re: Wimbledon 2005 was the best torunament in my career./Wimbledon 2005 had been the

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominik92 View Post

    " I remember playing at Wimbledon 2005 very well. I played some of my best tennis there and the crowd was amazing. That Wimbledon had been the best tournament in my career. I had never played a better tennis at any tournament until that magic one.
    The second past perfect, 'had ... played', is fine. The first is not. The simple past is natural there - I played ... the crowd was ... That Wimbledon was ...,

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    #5

    Re: Wimbledon 2005 was the best torunament in my career./Wimbledon 2005 had been the

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    The second past perfect, 'had ... played', is fine. The first is not. The simple past is natural there - I played ... the crowd was ... That Wimbledon was ...,

    Please, would you be so kind and explain me why I can not use past perfect there? I used past perfect as I wanted to express that I had not played a better tournament before. I know there is one safe use - It was the best.....I had played.....but the previous one should be correct as well, shouldnīt be?

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    #6

    Re: Wimbledon 2005 was the best torunament in my career./Wimbledon 2005 had been the

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominik92 View Post
    Please, would you be so kind and explain me why I can not use past perfect there?
    I remember playing at Wimbledon 2005 very well. I played some of my best tennis there and the crowd was amazing. That Wimbledon was the best tournament in my career. I had never played a better tennis at any tournament until that magic one.


    Everthing I hace coloured blue happened at the same time in the past.The situation I have coloured red refers to a previous past. The past perfect, in narrative, places a past event before another past event,
    Last edited by Piscean; 22-Sep-2015 at 17:22. Reason: typo

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    #7

    Re: Wimbledon 2005 was the best torunament in my career./Wimbledon 2005 had been the

    If I have sentence: She couldnīt imagine anything in this world harder than that. But she also sensed it had been the best thing for her. And she loved her parents. She couldnīt imagine life without them.


    How much this differ from my sentence with Wimbledon?

    This comes from the book: Somebody Else's Daughter: A NovelElizabeth Brundage


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    #8

    Re: Wimbledon 2005 was the best torunament in my career./Wimbledon 2005 had been the

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominik92 View Post
    She couldnīt imagine anything in this world harder than that. But she also sensed it had been the best thing for her. And she loved her parents. She couldnt imagine life without them.
    The preceding sentences, which you did not provide, tell of her biological mother giving her up. 'That' was something in an earlier past time, hence the past perfect.

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    #9

    Re: Wimbledon 2005 was the best torunament in my career./Wimbledon 2005 had been the

    If you search long enough, Dominik, you'll find plenty sentences in which the past perfect is used where a case can be made for the past simple, and vice versa. Remember:

    1. Except in prepared writing, many native speakers are not so concerned about the 'correct' use of the past perfect as some writers of student grammars suggest they are.

    2.In narrative, the past perfect is used to place one past-time situation in an earlier past time. If other time-markers in the utterance indicate the time sequence, then we may not bother with the past perfect. There is an important difference between:

    She went when he arrived and She had gone when he arrived.

    There is no significant difference between:

    He arrived after she left
    and He arrived after she had left.



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    #10

    Re: Wimbledon 2005 was the best torunament in my career./Wimbledon 2005 had been the

    Thank you very much for your further information.

    Would it be possible to create a sentence/context where the sentence "Wimbledon 2005 had been the best tournament in my career" will fit?

    It would mean a lot to me.

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