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    #1

    began/had begun

    Hello all,

    In the following passage, is the verb form began correct or should it be had begun?

    Also during the second decade of the twentieth century, the federal income tax was instituted, allowing personal contributions to philanthropy to become tax deductible. On the heels of this major legislation came World War I. This changed philanthropy immeasurably by expanding the role of government. For example, by 1920 states began to initiate programs for needy children, the elderly, and some individuals with disabilities, such as the blind. New York offered unemployment relief. These groundbreaking events moved the nation to increased dependency upon the federal government in providing relief. By the time Franklin D. Roosevelt became president, the problems of the Depression era caused the establishment of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Although it lasted only for three years, it had a lasting effect on how philanthropy and charity were viewed by Americans.

    (This is a paragraph from a chapter I was working on.)

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: began/had begun

    For me "began" works fine.

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    #3

    Re: began/had begun

    Mike, could you please explain why had begun is not required here?

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: began/had begun

    LaMelange, why do you think the past perfect is needed here?
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: began/had begun

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMelange View Post
    Mike, could you please explain why had begun is not required here?
    I would use had begun because of the time phrase by 1920.

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    #6

    Re: began/had begun

    I would use "had begun",too.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #7

    Re: began/had begun

    "Had begun" for me too, after "by".

    In 1920, they began ...
    By 1920, they had begun ...
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: began/had begun

    However I'm not a native speaker nor a teacher, I'd definitely go for "had begun" .
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

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    #9

    Re: began/had begun

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    However Although I'm not a native speaker nor a teacher, I'd definitely go for "had begun".
    `

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: began/had begun

    The sentence flows and makes perfect sense without it. I tend to use perfect tenses only when they are necessary.
    Last edited by MikeNewYork; 18-Nov-2015 at 04:51. Reason: typo

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