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  1. Banned
    Student or Learner
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    #1

    had forgotten or forgot

    Good afternoon all,

    I am writing a diary about what happened to me yesterday, but I am
    stuck over a sentence in the diary:

    I was walking to the school when it suddenly began to rain heavily.
    I was totally wet because I [forgot / had forgotten] to bring an umbrella before leaving my house.

    Shall I use "had forgotten" or "forgot" to complete the second sentence?
    Could you help me out please?

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    #2

    Re: had forgotten or forgot

    Quote Originally Posted by kwfine View Post
    Good afternoon all,

    I am writing a diary about what had happened to me yesterday, but I am
    stuck over a sentence in the diary:

    I had been walking to the school when it had suddenly begun to rain heavily.
    I was totally wet because I [forgot / had forgotten] to bring an umbrella before leaving my house.

    Shall I use "had forgotten" or "forgot" to complete the second sentence?
    Could you help me out please?
    Hi kwfine. Let me ask you a question. Why did you not use perfect tense in the other places as above?


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    #3

    Re: had forgotten or forgot

    I am writing a diary about what happened to me yesterday, but I am
    stuck over a sentence in the diary:


    THIS IS CORRECT. You start with present continuous, and the event you are reporting is in the past. There is no 'one thing more in the past than another'.

    I was walking to
    the : if this is just the school you attend every day, then omit 'the' - you walk to school. You attend school.

    school when it suddenly began to rain heavily.
    I was wet through because I had forgotten to bring an umbrella before leaving my house.

    Here, we have two things both in the past, one (forgetting the umbrella) happened before it rained and you got wet. To show that the 'forgetting' came before the 'getting wet', we use the past perfect tense.

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    #4

    Re: had forgotten or forgot

    1...But even without "had forgotten" it is obvious that the 'forgetting' came before the 'getting wet'.
    Many native English speakers don't feel it necessary to use perfect tense here because the meaning is clear with simple past tense.
    I was totally wet because I forgot to bring an umbrella before leaving my house.

    2...I didn't mean that kwfine should use perfect tense at every chance; I was trying to get him/her to think about the role of perfect tense.

    3...The 'walking to school' happened before the 'starting to rain'. Again we have two actions in the past with one happening before the other. According to the rule, why is perfect tense not needed in that sentence?

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #5

    Post Re: had forgotten or forgot

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    3...The 'walking to school' happened before the 'starting to rain'. Again we have two actions in the past with one happening before the other. According to the rule, why is perfect tense not needed in that sentence?
    It would be needed only if we all knew what the author had in their mind. Compare:

    I had been walking to school when it suddenly began to rain heavily. (walking to school finished just before the heavy rain - this may well suggest that the walker got to the school before it began to rain, and didn't get wet actually!)

    I was walking to school when it suddenly began to rain heavily. (here, the action of walking was still in progress when the rain began, so this is exactly what the author meant to say later in his utterance - ... I was wet through because ....

    As for the following, I had been walking to school when it had suddenly begun to rain heavily, I can't see any logical reason for the sentence to be used like that.


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    #6

    Re: had forgotten or forgot

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    It would be needed only if we all knew what the author had in their mind. Compare:

    I had been walking to school when it suddenly began to rain heavily. (walking to school finished just before the heavy rain - this may well suggest that the walker got to the school before it began to rain, and didn't get wet actually!)

    "may well suggest" is not a comprehensive exclusion of that same person being soaked by the rain, is it, Engee?

    I was walking to school when it suddenly began to rain heavily. (here, the action of walking was still in progress when the rain began, so this is exactly what the author meant to say later in his utterance - ... I was wet through because ....

    The past progressive also doesn't mean that the rain soaked the person to the skin.

    I was walking to school when it suddenly began to rain. Luckily, I was right at the door when that happened.


    As for the following, I had been walking to school when it had suddenly begun to rain heavily, I can't see any logical reason for the sentence to be used like that.
    That doesn't preclude it as A possibility.


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    #7

    Re: had forgotten or forgot


  3. engee30's Avatar
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    #8

    Unhappy Re: had forgotten or forgot

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    The past progressive also doesn't mean that the rain soaked the person to the skin.

    I was walking to school when it suddenly began to rain. Luckily, I was right at the door when that happened
    .
    In your sentence there seems to be something illogical to me. How can you be walking while it starts to rain and luckily be at the door at the same time? How can a person caught in the rain not get wet?

  4. engee30's Avatar
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    #9

    Thumbs up Re: had forgotten or forgot

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    I had been walking to school when it suddenly began to rain heavily. (walking to school finished just before the heavy rain - this may well suggest that the walker got to the school before it began to rain, and didn't get wet actually!)

    "may well suggest" is not a comprehensive exclusion of that same person being soaked by the rain, is it, Engee?
    You're right, it isn't.


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    #10

    Re: had forgotten or forgot

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    In your sentence there seems to be something illogical to me. How can you be walking while it starts to rain and luckily be at the door at the same time? How can a person caught in the rain not get wet?
    'walking to school' can be used simply describe the whole process, can't it, Engee? Compare, "I walked to school". Our choice for these situations is the past continuous.

    Isn't it logical that the person could be at any point of their walk just as the rain starts? There could be an extended portico. They even had these at the schools I went to and we lived in what was close to a desert climate.

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