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    #1

    Past perfect or simple past before 'until'?

    Can you replace 'didn't' by 'hadn't' in
    'She didn't ask for help until it was too late'?

    I'd say that 'until' has to be replaced by 'before' in this case, but I'm not sure...

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Past perfect or simple past before 'until'?

    No, but you can say, "She hadn't asked for help ..." That makes it past perfect, which you'd use if appropriate. 'Until' isn't a problem.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Past perfect or simple past before 'until'?

    No. Keep the sentence as it is. Don't mess with it.

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    #4

    Re: Past perfect or simple past before 'until'?

    Thank you. What's the difference in meaning between 'She didn't ask for help until it was too late.' and 'She hadn't asked for help until it was too late', then? Or isn't there any?

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    #5

    Re: Past perfect or simple past before 'until'?

    "Didn't ask" is simple past. "Hadn't asked" is past perfect.
    Sie fragte nicht.
    Sie hatte nicht gefragt.
    Present perfect is, “She hasn’t asked”. Sie hat nicht gefragt.

    The usage of these tenses is broadly similar to in German, from what I remember.

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Past perfect or simple past before 'until'?

    What's the context?

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    #7

    Re: Past perfect or simple past before 'until'?

    There is not really a context. It is an example from a grammar exercise book.
    I would like to know whether a native speaker would prefer any one of the two forms in a particular context.
    Why did you say the sentence should be left als it is?

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Past perfect or simple past before 'until'?

    Some native speakers prefer the simple past as long as the time sequence is already clear.
    That's what I learnt from this forum.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: Past perfect or simple past before 'until'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jokies View Post
    Why did you say the sentence should be left as it is?
    Because it's correct and your suggested change is not.

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    #10

    Re: Past perfect or simple past before 'until'?

    Why not? That's what I have been trying to find out...

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