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    #1

    A grammar question about Past perfect.

    I have this test:

    The first laser ......... in 1960 by Maiman almost half a century after the publication in 1916 of Einstein's theory of radiation which ......... the possibility of laser operation.

    a) has been demonstrated / had shown
    b) had been demonstrated / showed
    c) was demonstrated / showed
    d) demonstrates / was shown
    e) was being demonstrated / shows

    my question is : shouldn't the next pat be had shown?


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    #2

    Re: A grammar question about Past perfect.

    Not necessarily. The conjunction "after" clarifies the sequence of events.

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    #3

    Re: A grammar question about Past perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    Not necessarily. The conjunction "after" clarifies the sequence of events.

    So if it is the sequence then that event happened before the other one and it should be the past perfect.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #4

    Re: A grammar question about Past perfect.

    Before this gets into any further confusion pivoting on the use of 'after', the determining aspect is the structure of the sentence:

    The first laser was demonstrated in 1960 by Maiman almost half a century after the publication in 1916 of Einstein's theory of radiation had shown the possibility of laser operation.

    compare:
    The first laser was demonsrated in 1960 by Maiman almost half a century after the publication in 1916 of Einstein's theory of radiation, which showed the possibility of laser operation.

    In the second sentence (the given sentence) the use of 'which' makes what follows a non-defining Relative Clause, tacked on, providing information about Einstein's Theory, and not related to the sequence of events.


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    #5

    Re: A grammar question about Past perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by maral55 View Post
    The first laser was demonstrated in 1960 by Maiman almost half a century after the publication in 1916 of Einstein's theory of radiation which showed the possibility of laser operation.
    In my opinion:
    The first (X) was demonstrated after (Y, which)
    Y (had) shown the possibility of X before the first X

    X: laser operation
    Y: publication

    Both the use of pp and simple past is justifiable.

    EDIT: the showing of possibility happened before 1960. How do we know it? The word "after" helps. Without "after" we would not know what happened first. Is it true or not? We use the pp for an event that happened before another event in the past. True or not? Thanks.
    Last edited by svartnik; 05-May-2009 at 15:27.

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