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    • Join Date: Apr 2009
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    #1

    Tenses

    I think both tenses are correct. Do you agree?

    After she HAD SMILED/SMILED at him, he went away because he was afraid of her.

    Thanks for your answers.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #2

    Re: Tenses

    No.
    There are times when Past Perfect is used, despite the correct chronological sequence of tenses, because of some surprising later action/event/development.
    or
    You would need some other action in the preceding sentence to justify it;

    ...but you are asking us to judge on the basis of the sentence as given.

    A reason must have occurred to you - let's discuss that!


    • Join Date: Apr 2009
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    #3

    Re: Tenses

    At first, I had used the past perfect, because first she smiled and then he went away. But then I looked it up in my grammar and it says that you can also use the past tense because the second action is immediately after the first one.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #4

    Re: Tenses

    ...because first she smiled and then he went away

    So - the actions are in the correct chronological sequence.

    compare:

    He left, fuming with jealousy, because she had smiled at another man.

    Here, the actions are not in the correct chronological order, and the use of Past Perfect places the second action as actually occurring before 'he left'.

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    #5

    Re: Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    ...because first she smiled and then he went away

    So - the actions are in the correct chronological sequence.

    compare:

    He left, fuming with jealousy, because she had smiled at another man.

    Here, the actions are not in the correct chronological order, and the use of Past Perfect places the second action as actually occurring before 'he left'.
    With simple past, it is perfectly clear that the second action mentioned occurred before he left. (that's why he left)

    He left, ........., because she smiled at another man.


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    #6

    Re: Tenses

    2006: With simple past, it is perfectly clear that the second action mentioned occurred before he left.

    Oh, dear. This rather takes me a bit off course from explaining just the basics. We still haven't cleared up Sunshine's own reasoning that led to this thread.

    1. Yes - if it is clear that a second action must have occurred before the first, then use of the Past Perfect may not be necessary.

    2. I was trying to use the words and sentence possibilities Sunshine suggested; and

    ...I think I have previously commented that you take a most utilitarian, non-emotional, 'devoid of the dramatic' approach to English expression.

    Perhaps others can appreciate the dramatic emphasis implied by the use of 'had smiled', despite the fact that one would objectively know that 'the smiling' must have happened first.

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    #7

    Re: Tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    2006: With simple past, it is perfectly clear that the second action mentioned occurred before he left.

    Oh, dear. This rather takes me a bit off course from explaining just the basics. We still haven't cleared up Sunshine's own reasoning that led to this thread.

    1. Yes - if it is clear that a second action must have occurred before the first, then use of the Past Perfect may not be necessary.

    2. I was trying to use the words and sentence possibilities Sunshine suggested; and

    ...I think I have previously commented that you take a most utilitarian, non-emotional, 'devoid of the dramatic' approach to English expression.

    Perhaps others can appreciate the dramatic emphasis implied by the use of 'had smiled', despite the fact that one would objectively know that 'the smiling' must have happened first.
    A basic question is whether we are mostly helping students learn basic English or whether we are mostly focussing on dramatic emphasis.
    You seem a bit confused about this. First you complain about "takes me a bit off course from explaining just the basics."; then you talk about appreciating dramatic emphasis. I was talking about the basics in my first post.

    And speaking of basic English, your statement that "the use of Past Perfect places the second action as actually occurring before 'he left'.", with the obvious implication that that sequence is not clear with simple past tense, is wrong and confusing to students.

    You are worried about "sunshine's own reasoning that led to this thread". But it would have been better if you first had answered her initial question correctly?

    I am tired of having to correct your misrepresentations of the simple past tense.
    Since you clearly don't understand simple past tense, which then results in your flawed comparison to perfect tenses, it would be better if you refrain from answering questions having to do with these tenses.

    I don't take any pleasure in writing this post, but you leave me no alternative.

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