"I stopped and chatted with them [Johny and Jean and a guy standing with them]. I'd been introduced to the friend, but hadn't caught his name. So I was extra surprised when, as I was turning away, he said suddenly:..."
I can't get why she used this sort of tense construction. First she had met them, and then was introduced to the guy. Why, then, she used past perfect in the second sentence, not in the first one?
She's telling a story about a past event, talking to Johny and Jean, both of whom she knows. At the beginning of the chat, they had introduced the guy, but the person hadn't, at that time, the beginning of the chat, caught the guy's name. The chat ended and as the speaker was turning away, the guy spoke to her.
Presumably, the introduction took place before the chat, though it does clash with 'stopped'. However, it is used to emphasise that something came earlier, and the main drive is to focus on what happened next when he said whatever it was that surprised her, and this is more important than being totally accurate about the first verbs.
Thanks, Riverkid and Tdol. OK, this may be the explanation. But if she used past perfect in the first sentence, wouldn't it have been correct?
Please please please don't ever think that I would ever try to stop an ESL from asking as many questions as they like, want and need to satisfy their curiosity. I love it when difficult questions are asked and I always encouraged my students to ask. I told them that it is every student's right and duty to try and stump their teacher.
Let me give this a bit more thought and I'll get back to you.
Last edited by riverkid; 05-Jan-2007 at 05:19.