[Grammar] Past Perfect VS Past Simple: meet and "the first time"

naweewra

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Hello,

Is the Past Perfect tense wrong in this context?

a) It wasn't the first time I met him. I had met him a few times before.

b) It wasn't the first time I had met him. I had met him a few times before.

Thank you.

Nawee
 

bhaisahab

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No, it's not wrong.
 

naweewra

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Is there any difference?

How come we use the Past Simple with "the last time"?

When was the last time you cleaned this room? (not "you had cleaned")

Thank you.

Nawee
 

MikeNewYork

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As long as you use "before", the simple past works. But the past perfect is also correct.
 

naweewra

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Does it have anything to do with the difference between "the first time" (or "last") and "the NUMBERth time"? "First" and "last" are two ends of a time line whereas the number of times suggests repetition and the Past Perfect is used when we talk about repeated actions prior to another past action.

I'm sorry if I'm not expressing the "difference" between the "first/last time" and "the NUMBERth time" very well.

Two months ago I asked a similar question and the teachers preferred the past perfect, see https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/...the-third-time-that-he-won-had-won-the-game#1

Not a teacher.
 

Matthew Wai

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Matthew Wai

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And you omitted to answer the OP's following questions.
How come we use the Past Simple with "the last time"?
When was the last time you cleaned this room? (not "you had cleaned")
Not a teacher.
 

MikeNewYork

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My answer was not to the second question.

Had I answered it, I would have said the past simple was fine.
 

Tdol

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Is there any difference?

How come we use the Past Simple with "the last time"?

When was the last time you cleaned this room? (not "you had cleaned")

One action at one time- the past perfect is normally used to sequence two linked events of to place something before a time in the past.
 
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