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    #1

    tense relations between clauses

    Hello, teachers.

    I happen to encounter the following sentence, and I don't understand the tense relations between the clauses.

    She dropped off on the sofa and did not notice that her son had gotten home.

    The main clause has two verbs: "dropped off" and "did not notice," and they are past tense.
    The subordinate clause (that-clause) has a verb that is past perfect tense. (had gotten)
    In the context, I think the main clause happened first and the subordinate clause happened later.
    However, I have learned the past perfect refers to a time before another in the past.
    How come that-clause in the sentence above has got the past perfect tense?

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: tense relations between clauses

    [QUOTE=giddyman;1194708]Hello, teachers.

    The main clause has two verbs: "dropped off" and "did not notice," and they are past tense.
    The subordinate clause (that-clause) has a verb that is past perfect tense. (had gotten)
    In the context, I think the main clause happened first and the subordinate clause happened later.
    [/QUOTE.

    That's right. You've got it precisely. We use the past perfect in the subordinate clause to show that the action in the subordinate clause occurred before that in the main clauses,

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