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    #1

    had

    Dear Teachers

    Ms X left the company. Ms Y an ex-colleague wrote to her. One of the sentences is as follows :

    "You have always been a good worker and I don't think you irritated any of your colleagues."

    or should it be :

    "You had always been a good worker and I don't think you had irritated any of your colleagues."

    Also, can you say co-workers instead of colleagues when the situation is in an office.

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    #2

    Re: had

    I would suggest the you have always form, as the other form, "you had always," suggests that something else happened between the time he was a good worker and today.

    "You had always been a good worker before that unfortunate incident with Miss Wu in the supply room...."

    And colleagues or co-workers are both fine.

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    #3

    Re: had

    Quote Originally Posted by PelajarBaru View Post
    Dear Teachers

    Ms X left the company. Ms Y an ex-colleague wrote to her. One of the sentences is as follows :

    "You have always been a good worker and I don't think you irritated any of your colleagues."

    or should it be :

    "You had always been a good worker and I don't think you had irritated any of your colleagues."

    Also, can you say co-workers instead of colleagues when the situation is in an office.
    "You were always a good worker and I don't think you irritated any of your colleagues".
    Simple past in both cases. There's no need for either the present or past perfect.


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    #4

    Re: had

    'colleagues' usually refers to professional and business people who work together.
    'co-workers' is the term for people who work in an office typing, and doing administrative tasks.

    Raymott: Simple past in both cases. There's no need for either the present or past perfect.

    I cannot agree with Raymott.
    The choice of tense will be determined by how the speaker views the situation he is talking about.
    If Y left because she retired, and so her working life is over, then the speaker may have felt fine in putting this sentiment into the cold finality of the Past Tense form 'you were..', since a retired person also views their working life as 'in the past, thank God'.

    If she left for some other reason (as suggested by the second sentence; or left and looks back, remembering some incidents and wonders whether she irritates the people with whom she works, and X is reassuring her; AND she expects to seek another job; then to use the Past Tense is rather cold, placing her 'days of being a good worker' well and truly behind Y, in the past. X is expressing the view that over the period of time that X has known Y, Y has been a good worker, and so, being sensitive and optimistic, would use the Present Perfect to suggest that her 'being a good worker' will continue in the future, in her next job.

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    #5

    Re: had

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    I cannot agree with Raymott.
    We already know that, David.
    As I've said before, you can give whatever answer you like if you manipulate the question sufficiently.


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    #6

    Re: had

    Raymott:We already know that, David.
    Isn't that rather an egocentric assertion?
    Other people besides PelajarBaru will be reading, following, and hoping to learn from this thread, and if certain points can be clarified..,
    and some sweeping statements such as "Simple past in both cases. There's no need for either the present or past perfect.

    ...corrected...

    As for the charge, you can give whatever answer you like if you manipulate the question sufficiently.


    ...I would point out to you that it is you who totally disregarded the two tense forms in the start of the thread; and without an ounce of explanation, pronounce another tense form should be used.
    Apparently, Raymott has Spoken is sufficient in your eyes.
    Last edited by David L.; 18-Oct-2008 at 11:20.


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    #7

    Re: had

    I've read all your replies carefully and many times. I'm sorry but I think David and jlinger explained what I was actually looking for.

    May I have Anglika's or the other teachers' opinions please?

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    #8

    Re: had

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    ...I would point out to you that it is you who totally disregarded the two tense forms in the start of the thread; and without an ounce of explanation, pronounce another tense form should be used.
    OK, the explanation is this: PelajarBaru has posted two events that occurred in the past.
    Ms X left the company.
    Ms Y an ex-colleague wrote to her.
    Both of these are in the past simple tense.
    I did not disregard the sentences given. (If I had, how could I have made the judgement that the simple past was better?). Do you think I answer questions without reading them and considering them?

    You have invented all sorts of scenarios and given an answer for them (why she retired, does she want another job, etc.). And that's fine too. But I don't always have the time to answer questions that aren't asked.

    The first sentence (below) uses the simple past for the second clause, and I believe this is correct.
    After having considered both versions of the first clause, I decided that the simple past was also more appropriate for that too.
    1. "You have always been a good worker and I don't think you irritated any of your colleagues."
    2. "You had always been a good worker and I don't think you had irritated any of your colleagues."

    If it is a simple matter of explaining to the woman that she did good work and did not offend anyone, then the simple past is appropriate.
    I have read the whole thread again, and my answer stands.

    Cheers


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    #9

    Re: had

    Hi Raymott

    I see what you mean. Thank you very much.

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    #10

    Re: had

    Quote Originally Posted by PelajarBaru View Post
    Hi Raymott

    I see what you mean. Thank you very much.
    You're quite welcome

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