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    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 4

    Question Past Perfect Tense

    I'm looking for some help about the past perfect tense.

    I've been trying to figure out the usage of this tense for a very long time but I still haven't found a satisfying answer.

    I do know that we use it when somenthing happend before a certain point in the past (ex. by the time I arrived the bus had already gone, etc.), but I also keep seeing this tense in many other different sentances where I don't see the point in using in! Especially in books. So what I would like is a detailed explanation on using this tense and somebody please to explain the following example:

    None of the passengers had been badly injured in an accident

    Why exactly are we going to use past perfect here?!

    • Join Date: Jun 2007
    • Posts: 556

    Re: Past Perfect Tense

    Here is one website that seems to lay it out pretty clearly.

    Without more context, I would guess that the author chose past perfect in the example you give because he/she is referring to the distant past. In the event of a terrible accident, the newspapers would write, "None of the passengers were badly injured in the accident." "An accident" covers an unspecified period of time in the past when any of the passengers might have been injured, separately or together, in any number of accidents.

    Here is a somewhat silly use of your phrase:

    The Risk Takers' Club booked a test run on the Why Not, the experimental ocean-going vessel powered only by hydrogen. Although they had participated in such dangerous ventures many times before, none of the passengers had been badly injured in an accident. This time, however, their luck ran out.

    [not a teacher]

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