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    #1

    Did this man leave?(from the meaning of the sentence)

    Here is a paragraph,

    Jack packaged everything in his room. And He had already prepared some gifts for his friends before he left. But suddenly he found he had lost his ticket, so now he is still here.

    In this case, "before he left" doesn't mean the man now is not here. It just means that the action happened after the first action.

    But If I say:

    The murder had killed 4 people before he committed suicide.(This one means now the murder is dead now)

    So , what is the difference?

    How can I tell?
    Thanks so much!

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    #2

    Re: Did this man leave?(from the meaning of the sentence)

    I think you mean the murderer; that is, the person who committed the murder.

    You'd use the past perfect in your sentence if it's part of a narrative set in the past: The police rushed into the room only to find the murderer, dead by his own hand. He had killed four people before he committed suicide.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Did this man leave?(from the meaning of the sentence)

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I think you mean the murderer; that is, the person who committed the murder.

    You'd use the past perfect in your sentence if it's part of a narrative set in the past: The police rushed into the room only to find the murderer, dead by his own hand. He had killed four people before he committed suicide.

    Thanks so much!

    But what about the first one?

    Can I use "before he left" in this way?

    Thanks so much!

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    #4

    Re: Did this man leave?(from the meaning of the sentence)

    Quote Originally Posted by MOYEEA LEE View Post
    Thanks so much!
    You don't have to keep repeating that. You can just click the "Thank" button to register gratitude.

    Quote Originally Posted by MOYEEA LEE View Post
    But what about the first one?

    Can I use "before he left" in this way?
    I don't know what you're trying to say in the paragraph containing that phrase. It contains a mixture of tenses that don't work together.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: Did this man leave?(from the meaning of the sentence)

    Yes, but you do not capitalize "he".
    And it is "packed", not "packaged".
    I am not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: Did this man leave?(from the meaning of the sentence)

    Quote Originally Posted by MOYEEA LEE View Post
    Jack packaged everything in his room. And He had already prepared some gifts for his friends before he left. But suddenly he found he had lost his ticket, so now he is still here.

    In this case, "before he left" doesn't mean the man now is not here. It just means that the action happened after the first action.
    Your bold section doesn't really fit. It suggested to me that he has indeed already left. Then your next sentence is saying he is still there. (I went back to reread your passage to see if I'd missed something). If he is still there, there is no need for "...before he left".

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Did this man leave?(from the meaning of the sentence)

    Quote Originally Posted by MOYEEA LEE View Post
    Jack packaged everything in his room. And He had already prepared some gifts for his friends before he left. But suddenly he found he had lost his ticket, so now he is still here.

    In this case, "before he left" doesn't mean the man now is not here.
    To convey the sense you are looking for, say He had already wrapped some presents to give to his friends before he left. If he had packed them, he would have to unpack them again in order to give them.

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    #8

    Re: Did this man leave?(from the meaning of the sentence)

    Quote Originally Posted by ChinaDan View Post
    Your bold section doesn't really fit. It suggested to me that he has indeed already left. Then your next sentence is saying he is still there. (I went back to reread your passage to see if I'd missed something). If he is still there, there is no need for "...before he left".
    Thanks so much!

    We can change conditional sentences to the back:
    "If it rains, we won't go outside."("rains" means the future action, not happen yet)
    But if I change this one to the past:
    "They didn't know what to do then. If it rained, they won't go outside."("rained" means the past future action? Does this one work?)

    Besides, someone told me that we can say "before she would be leaving" in this sentence, why can we use "would be doing something"

    Thanks a lot!

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Did this man leave?(from the meaning of the sentence)

    Quote Originally Posted by MOYEEA LEE View Post
    "They didn't know what to do then. If it rained, they won't go outside."
    I would use 'wouldn't' instead of 'won't' because the sentence refers to the past instead of the future.
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    #10

    Re: Did this man leave?(from the meaning of the sentence)

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I would use 'wouldn't' instead of 'won't' because the sentence refers to the past instead of the future.

    Sorry, it is my fault. I typed it by mistake.

    But if I say:

    If it rained, they wouldn't go outside.

    This one means it had already rained or past future?

    Thanks a lot!

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