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    #1

    Question From Jane Walsh (4) - tenses

    "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?

    Best,
    Nyggus

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    #2

    Re: From Jane Walsh (4) - tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    "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?
    Best,
    Nyggus
    In the second sentence she had started to tell another events.

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    #3

    Re: From Jane Walsh (4) - tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Volcano1985 View Post
    In the second sentence she had started to tell another events.
    I can't agree with you. In the second sentence she is continuing the story started in the first sentence IMO.

    Best,
    Nyggus


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    #4

    Re: From Jane Walsh (4) - tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    "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?
    Best,
    Nyggus
    Hi Nyggus,

    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.


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    #5

    Re: From Jane Walsh (4) - tenses

    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.

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    #6

    Question Re: From Jane Walsh (4) - tenses

    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?


    Nyggus


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    #7

    Re: From Jane Walsh (4) - tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    Hi, Riverkid. The whole idea is clear but I still can't get why in the first she didn't use the past perfect. Why?
    Nyggus
    Well actually, she had/has a choice just as I did there, Nyggus.

    Why haven't you ever asked this question before?

    Why didn't you ever ask this question before?

    Using the past perfect there is a possibility but why do you think that it's a necessity?

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    #8

    Re: From Jane Walsh (4) - tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Well actually, she had/has a choice just as I did there, Nyggus.
    Why haven't you ever asked this question before?
    Why didn't you ever ask this question before?
    Using the past perfect there is a possibility but why do you think that it's a necessity?
    Simply because the situation in the first sentence occurred before everything that she is describing later in the paragraph, and because she is using past perfect in a next sentence. I am not a native speaker, so I am paying much attention to such things, and I know sometimes it may even be funny for natives. However, if I want to learn about combining tenses, I don't think I should learn from this paragraph - I simply don't think it follows the rules given in textbooks (what does not mean it's wrong).

    Thanks,
    Nyggus


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    #9

    Re: From Jane Walsh (4) - tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    Simply because the situation in the first sentence occurred before everything that she is describing later in the paragraph, and because she is using past perfect in a next sentence. I am not a native speaker, so I am paying much attention to such things, and I know sometimes it may even be funny for natives. However, if I want to learn about combining tenses, I don't think I should learn from this paragraph - I simply don't think it follows the rules given in textbooks (what does not mean it's wrong).
    Thanks,
    Nyggus
    I wasn't trying to give you a hard time by asking those questions, Nyggus or try to prevent you from asking as many questions as you want. I was only trying to show you that we sometimes have choices and the rules, up to now, haven't adequately covered these possibilities.

    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 06:19.

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    #10

    Re: From Jane Walsh (4) - tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    I wasn't trying to give you a hard time by asking those question, Nyggus or try to prevent you from asking as many questions as you want. I was only trying to show you that we sometimes have choices and the rules, up to now, haven't adequately covered these possibilities.
    Please pleas 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.
    Riverkid, I never thought you were intending such things! This funny for natives did not intend to imply that you were laughing at non-natives, not at all. But such things may be funny in a positive sense - not once have I laughed at Polish heard from a foreigner, but I didn't laugh at that person! It was just that what he or she said sounded really cute because of the mistakes. Besides, I don't see anything wrong in laughing at my English - sometimes I do it myself .

    Thanks,
    Nyggus

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