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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
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      • Ukraine
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      • Ukraine

    • Join Date: Dec 2011
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    #1

    several past perfect tenses in clauses

    Hello again,

    Could you tell me which of the sentences is correct in each of the situations below (or possibly both)?

    1. a) Nobody informed Mary how serious her condition had been until she had recovered (first she recovered, then we informed her about her past state).

    b) Nobody informed Mary how serious her condition was until she had recovered (to lay emphasis on the priority of her recovery).

    2. a) When I took a sniff of it in the shop, I was surprised to learn that I no longer liked the perfume which had impressed me when I first came to my sister's party.

    b) When I took a sniff of it in the shop, I was surprised to learn that I no longer liked the perfume which impressed me when I first came to my sister's party. (Can a clause with 'when' be regarded as analogous to the definite time, like 'in 2013', which definitely calls for the past simple tense in this sentence: "When I took a sniff of it in the shop, I was surprised to learn that I no longer liked the perfume which impressed me in 2013."?)

    c) When I took a sniff of it in the shop, I was surprised to learn that I no longer liked the perfume which had impressed me when I had first come to my sister's party. (This seems a bit odd to me, but to make this study consistent, I'll include it, moreover the perfect tenses show the same time-relations here).

    I've read all about the perfect tenses I could find, but sentences like those above drive me mad.

    Thanks a million!!! Looking forward to getting your advice.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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      • Laos

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    #2

    Re: several past perfect tenses in clauses

    Maybe you should worry less. The sentences could work, and for the reasons you have given. The exception for me is 2c, where I see no reason for had first come.

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