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

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. ## 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.

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

Originally Posted by Glizdka
I was taught a preceding action should be put in the past perfect..

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

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

Originally Posted by Tarheel
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.

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

Originally Posted by GoesStation
D looks natural to me, too, except that it's missing a contraction.
I give up. What's the missing contraction?

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

Originally Posted by Tarheel
I give up. What's the missing contraction?
I assume GS would have preferred "... until I'd seen it for the first time".

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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