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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    I didn't think it was possible until I saw it for the first time

    Here's a tough one for me. On the one hand, I was taught a preceding action should be put in the past perfect. On the other, I can smell the underlying perfect in the first-timeness of an action. Which, if any, is correct?

    A) I didn't think it was possible until I saw it for the first time.
    B) I hadn't thought it was possible until I saw it for the first time.
    C) I didn't think it was possible until I had seen it for the first time.
    D) I hadn't thought it was possible until I had seen it for the first time.

    The rules I was taught tell me B is correct.
    My nose tells me it should be C.
    D looks ridiculously overloaded with perfects, but it sort of makes sense.

    I'd go with A, to make it simple (past simple to be precise).

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I didn't think it was possible until I saw it for the first time

    A is most likely. In fact, you can expect to see it more than twice as often as all the rest put together. I think B is also possible.

    Generally speaking, simpler is better.
    Not a professional teacher

  3. VIP Member
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    #3

    Re: I didn't think it was possible until I saw it for the first time

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    I was taught a preceding action should be put in the past perfect..
    Bad teaching.

    A past perfect is essential only if nothing else indicates the sequence of events. A is the simplest and best version.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  4. Moderator
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    #4

    Re: I didn't think it was possible until I saw it for the first time

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    A is most likely. In fact, you can expect to see it more than twice as often as all the rest put together. I think B is also possible.

    Generally speaking, simpler is better.
    D looks natural to me, too, except that it's missing a contraction.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: I didn't think it was possible until I saw it for the first time

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    D looks natural to me, too, except that it's missing a contraction.
    I give up. What's the missing contraction?
    Not a professional teacher

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: I didn't think it was possible until I saw it for the first time

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I give up. What's the missing contraction?
    I assume GS would have preferred "... until I'd seen it for the first time".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: I didn't think it was possible until I saw it for the first time

    I like A and B. A is good because it's simplest and B is good because it uses the past perfect very appropriately, if that's the effect you desire.

    C is wrong. It's hard to imagine how D could be justified.

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