Grammar Question

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wintermissing

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Nov 12, 2007
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Today I have just had a lesson and I am stuck when trying to deal with the following exercise:

After we ......... dinner, we returned home.

A. have B. had c. had had d. has

My teacher told me that the answer is C but i wonder why cant we use B, because the action happened by order and i think that we do not need to use past perfect here. Is my teacher's answer correct or not?and can you explain me why?Thanks in advance.
 

David L.

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the action happened by order and i think that we do not need to use past perfect here.

I agree with you. The sense in which I would use "had had dinner" instead would be to stress that the meal was 'over and out of the way'.

"We were anxious to get going as we had a long way to drive. Mum, as ever, wouldn't let us go without eating, so it wasn't until (after) we had had dinner that we got underway."
 
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stuartnz

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Today I have just had a lesson and I am stuck when trying to deal with the following exercise:

After we ......... dinner, we returned home.

A. have B. had c. had had d. has

My teacher told me that the answer is C but i wonder why cant we use B, because the action happened by order and i think that we do not need to use past perfect here. Is my teacher's answer correct or not?and can you explain me why?Thanks in advance.


I am not a teacher, so all I can offer is commentary on the usage patterns, not the rules of grammar. That said, in New Zealand you would hear and read option B more often than the option your teacher said was correct. I suspect that the same may well be true of other flavours of English, such as Australian and UK English too, especially in everyday use.

It's worth noting, though, that option C is still in use, but it's often disguised by contraction, so that instead of "after we had had dinner", you might hear or read "after we'd had dinner."
 

wintermissing

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Nov 12, 2007
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Student or Learner
Thanks for your reply!I have been studying english for many years and i think like the way you do as well!anyway, just want to thank you for your advice again!
 
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