Had given vs. gave

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bmo

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Which of the following is correct?

1. The old man finally united with the son he gave away 46 years ago because of superstition.

2. The old man finally united with the son he had given away 46 years ago because of superstition.

Thanks. BMO
 

Red5

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I think they are both correct. ;-)
 

MikeNewYork

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bmo said:
Which of the following is correct?

1. The old man finally united with the son he gave away 46 years ago because of superstition.

2. The old man finally united with the son he had given away 46 years ago because of superstition.

Thanks. BMO

The only difference between 1 and 2 involves the verb tenses in the relative clauses. The clausal verb in #1 is in the past tense; in #2, it is in the past perfect tense. The past perfect is used to sequence events in the past when one event occurred earlier than the other. In this case, the "giving" occurred earlier than the "reuniting", so the past perfectv tense is appropriate. Nevertheless, other timing clues in the sentence (46 years ago) also make the sequence clear. So the simple past (#1) is also acceptable, IMO.

The only other comment I have is about "united". Since these two had been together before, "reunited" would probably be better. Also, we normally use the passive voice for this meaning: "was reunited".

The old man was finally reunited with....
 

RonBee

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bmo said:
Which of the following is correct?

1. The old man finally united with the son he gave away 46 years ago because of superstition.

2. The old man finally united with the son he had given away 46 years ago because of superstition.

Thanks. BMO

I favor the second one, but I wouldn't say that the first one is wrong.

:)
 

RonBee

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MikeNewYork said:
bmo said:
Which of the following is correct?

1. The old man finally united with the son he gave away 46 years ago because of superstition.

2. The old man finally united with the son he had given away 46 years ago because of superstition.

Thanks. BMO

The only difference between 1 and 2 involves the verb tenses in the relative clauses. The clausal verb in #1 is in the past tense; in #2, it is in the past perfect tense. The past perfect is used to sequence events in the past when one event occurred earlier than the other. In this case, the "giving" occurred earlier than the "reuniting", so the past perfectv tense is appropriate. Nevertheless, other timing clues in the sentence (46 years ago) also make the sequence clear. So the simple past (#1) is also acceptable, IMO.

The only other comment I have is about "united". Since these two had been together before, "reunited" would probably be better. Also, we normally use the passive voice for this meaning: "was reunited".

The old man was finally reunited with....

Would that clause be either "with the son he gave away 46 years ago because of superstition" or "with the son he had given away 46 years ago because of superstition"?

:)
 

MikeNewYork

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RonBee said:
MikeNewYork said:
bmo said:
Which of the following is correct?

1. The old man finally united with the son he gave away 46 years ago because of superstition.

2. The old man finally united with the son he had given away 46 years ago because of superstition.

Thanks. BMO

The only difference between 1 and 2 involves the verb tenses in the relative clauses. The clausal verb in #1 is in the past tense; in #2, it is in the past perfect tense. The past perfect is used to sequence events in the past when one event occurred earlier than the other. In this case, the "giving" occurred earlier than the "reuniting", so the past perfectv tense is appropriate. Nevertheless, other timing clues in the sentence (46 years ago) also make the sequence clear. So the simple past (#1) is also acceptable, IMO.

The only other comment I have is about "united". Since these two had been together before, "reunited" would probably be better. Also, we normally use the passive voice for this meaning: "was reunited".

The old man was finally reunited with....

Would that clause be either "with the son he gave away 46 years ago because of superstition" or "with the son he had given away 46 years ago because of superstition"?

:)

Pretty much. The actual relative clauses begin with an implied "that" between "son" and "he". "He gave away..." or "He had given away...."
 

bmo

Senior Member
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Jul 24, 2003
MikeNewYork said:
RonBee said:
MikeNewYork said:
bmo said:
Which of the following is correct?

1. The old man finally united with the son he gave away 46 years ago because of superstition.

2. The old man finally united with the son he had given away 46 years ago because of superstition.

Thanks. BMO

The only difference between 1 and 2 involves the verb tenses in the relative clauses. The clausal verb in #1 is in the past tense; in #2, it is in the past perfect tense. The past perfect is used to sequence events in the past when one event occurred earlier than the other. In this case, the "giving" occurred earlier than the "reuniting", so the past perfectv tense is appropriate. Nevertheless, other timing clues in the sentence (46 years ago) also make the sequence clear. So the simple past (#1) is also acceptable, IMO.

The only other comment I have is about "united". Since these two had been together before, "reunited" would probably be better. Also, we normally use the passive voice for this meaning: "was reunited".

The old man was finally reunited with....

Would that clause be either "with the son he gave away 46 years ago because of superstition" or "with the son he had given away 46 years ago because of superstition"?

:)

Pretty much. The actual relative clauses begin with an implied "that" between "son" and "he". "He gave away..." or "He had given away...."
Thanks again, teachers.

BMO
 
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