David had gone to the train station

Bassim

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I am wondering if my sentence sounds natural. Would you please correct my mistakes?

David had gone to the train station to welcome his parents, who had come for a visit to see how he was doing at university.
 

teechar

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Does the context you have in mind call for the past perfect?
 

Bassim

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No. The context does not call for the past perfect. I made a mistake, which I often do when I come upon similar sentences, because I somehow thought I should used the past perfect to indicate that his action preceded their arrival to the station.
 

teechar

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David [STRIKE]had gone[/STRIKE] went to the train station to welcome his parents, who [STRIKE]had[/STRIKE] were coming for a visit to see how he was doing at university.
.
 

jutfrank

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"come for a visit" doesn't sound very natural to me.
 

Bassim

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What about this version about my sentence:

David went to the train station to welcome his parents, who were paying him a visit to see how he was doing at university.
 

jutfrank

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What about this version about my sentence:

David went to the train station to welcome his parents, who were paying him a visit to see how he was doing at university.

In my opinion, that's better.
 

emsr2d2

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"come for a visit" doesn't sound very natural to me.

I have no problem with it. That's interesting given that we're both BrE speakers.
 

Bassim

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Could it be that you and jutfrank come from different parts of the UK?
 

emsr2d2

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We might well do. I'm from the south-east.
 

jutfrank

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I have no problem with it. That's interesting given that we're both BrE speakers.

Don't get me wrong. It's that I thought the whole phrase "come for a visit to see how he was doing" was just a bit too wordy to be deemed completely natural.

Bassim -- I too am from the south-east of England. It's very rare that I disagree with emsr2d2 on what sounds natural. From reading her answers on this forum, I know that we come from very similar speech communities.
 
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