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    #1

    Should I use the past perfect here?

    It had been thought that the Lords did not have the power to suspend peers, but an internal inquiry running alongside the "cash for amendments" investigation concluded that the Lords did have the right to suspend its members until the end of the current session of parliament.
    Two Labour peers, Lord Truscott and Lord Taylor, face suspension for offering to change law for money | Politics | guardian.co.uk

    When I was reading the article, it suddenly occered to me the state marked with blue actually referred to a public perception held before a specific past time. Would the use of past perfect be advisable here?

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Should I use the past perfect here?

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    Two Labour peers, Lord Truscott and Lord Taylor, face suspension for offering to change law for money | Politics | guardian.co.uk

    When I was reading the article, it suddenly occered to me the state marked with blue actually referred to a public perception held before a specific past time. Would the use of past perfect be advisable here?
    The past perfect is used. "It had been thought..." The "thinking" occurred prior. The Lords having (or not having) power is an ongoing thing, but is expressed in the past tense because that is the tense of the main verb - the main tense of the sentence.

    It is being argued whether the Lords have the power ...
    It was being argued whether the Lords had the power ...

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    #3

    Re: Should I use the past perfect here?

    Thank you, Raymott.

    I suppose I didn't express myself clearly. What I was trying to say was to change "did not" to "hadn't had", as in "It had been thought that the Lords hadn't had the power."

    Is this change necessary?
    Last edited by cubezero3; 15-May-2009 at 18:07.

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    #4

    Re: Should I use the past perfect here?

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    Thank you, Raymott.

    I suppose I didn't express myself clearly. What I was trying to say was to change "did not" to "hadn't had", as in "It had been thought that the Lords hadn't had the power."

    Is this change necessary?
    I understood your question. No, you can't change it.
    The Lords' power (or not) is still ongoing. It is not occurring at a time before the index time in the past. The thinking was.

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