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    #1

    I need help

    Hi

    I need your help to find the answer to these questions.Although I have asked some of them before , still I'm not convinced.

    1.The man arrived at the store before it had opened.
    (why past perfect is used in this sentence? since the act of arriving happened first why past perfect is used for the action happening after arrival?)

    2.once I asked the difference between :I forgot buying the book and I forgot to buy the book,and I was told that the action happened in the first sentence.(I would like to know if the person has totally forgotten donig the action,if possible explain it more)

    thank you

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    #2

    Re: I need help

    1 It does seem a little illogical, but it stresses the fact that the store wasn't open.

    2 I forgot to buy the book = I didn't buy it because of my bad memory
    I forgot buying the book = I bought it, but then I forgot that I had done so
    Last edited by Tdol; 16-Dec-2006 at 12:02.


    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #3

    Re: I need help

    Hi,
    #1- a good question, Rosa. I'd also like to know why it's not
    The man had arrived at the shop before it opened.
    Tdol's explanation sheds little light - at least not enough for me.

    Regards

  1. Philly's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
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    #4

    Re: I need help

    .
    The most typical sentence by far would be:
    The man arrived at the shop before it opened.
    .
    Native speakers tend to avoid the past perfect like the plague -- especially in spoken English. I agree with Tdol, though. Saying "The man arrived at the shop before it had opened." would be used to stress the fact that the store 'hadn't opened yet' when he arrived.
    .
    I'd say the theoretically more logical "had arrived" usage is actually less likely to be used by a native speaker -- especially in spoken English.
    .

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    #5

    Re: I need help

    I agree with Philly; the perfect aspect denotes completion, so it is used here to emphasise the fact that the opening hadn't been completed.

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    #6

    Re: I need help

    I got the answer thank you


    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #7

    Re: I need help

    Thanks, Philly.
    Yes, the word before is a good substitute for the Past Perfect.
    The Past Perfect seems to have more cases of apparently inconsistent usage than any other tense.
    Actually, no problem for the context; I only wonder if its worth remembering in case it turns up in a test is it likely to?

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    #8

    Re: I need help

    It's unlikely because the past would also be an option, so if the examiner wanted to force the use of the past perfect, they'd have to come up with something different.


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    #9

    Re: I need help

    Thanks, Tdol.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: I need help

    Quote Originally Posted by rosa87 View Post
    Hi

    I need your help to find the answer to these questions.Although I have asked some of them before , still I'm not convinced.

    1.The man arrived at the store before it had opened.
    (why past perfect is used in this sentence? since the act of arriving happened first why past perfect is used for the action happening after arrival?)

    2.once I asked the difference between :I forgot buying the book and I forgot to buy the book,and I was told that the action happened in the first sentence.(I would like to know if the person has totally forgotten donig the action,if possible explain it more)

    thank you
    Number one is one of the problems with the past perfect tense. People make mistakes with it. I understand the explanation for the choice, but it really isn't correct.

    The man arrived first.
    Then the store opened.

    Technically, it should be "The man had arrived at the store before it opened."

    As was already posted, "before" does the job of staging the sequence of past actions, so the simple past would be fine.

    The man arrived at the store before it opened.

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