Simple past and Past Perfect

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solace

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I have two sentences:
He locked the door.
He went out for dinner.
Which tense we should use to connect them?
He locked the door and went out for dinner
Or: He had locked the door before going out for dinner.
Tell me which one is better? and the meaning of each one?
Tks
 

RonBee

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Neither one is necessarily better, but we would normally use simple past there. There is, absent context, no reason to use past perfect there.

:)
 

solace

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"Neither one is necessarily better." I haven't caught your idea
I will put my sentence in a situation like that: My house has been stolen and I want to insist to everybody that I locked the door before going out. Whether I should use the past perfect tense?
" I had locked the door before going out for dinner"
:)
Oh, by the way, what is an absent context?
 
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moonlite

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How about this.

He locked the door before (he) went out for dinner.

Sounds more natural.
 

solace

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moonlite said:
How about this.

He locked the door before (he) went out for dinner.

Sounds more natural.
Hi,
As I know, "before" is a prep and be followed by a noun or a gerund. So I don't think we should omit the subject (He). How about you?
 
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moonlite

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I am no teacher. But what you say sounds ok to me. However, in general conversations, that sentence is often heard.
 

Tdol

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I agree with Solace- it should be 'before going' or 'before he went'. ;-)
 

RonBee

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solace said:
"Neither one is necessarily better." I haven't caught your idea
I will put my sentence in a situation like that: My house has been stolen and I want to insist to everybody that I locked the door before going out. Whether I should use the past perfect tense?
" I had locked the door before going out for dinner"
:)
Oh, by the way, what is an absent context?

If I say "Neither one is necessarily better" then I mean that there is no reason to believe that one is better than the other.

In your example I would use the simple past. It is not necessary to use the past perfect. (I assume that you meant that your house had been burgled.)

Context is the surrounding sentences--the sentences that come before and after a sentence.

:)
 

solace

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Now, I do understand. Thanks :)
Another question: Which cases should we use past perfect tense?
 

solace

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moonlite said:
I am no teacher. But what you say sounds ok to me. However, in general conversations, that sentence is often heard.

Hi,
If you say so, everybody can understand you. However I think it is not a standard English.
Anyway, such utterance will be accepted in verbal communication:)
 

RonBee

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Use the past perfect to talk about an event that occured before another event in the past, both events having occurred previous to the statement.

Example:
  • I had eaten before Donna got home.

:)
 

Tdol

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The past perfect can also be used when an action occurred before a certain time in the past:

I had never used a computer before 1990.

(Here the idea is that after 1990, things changed. You could also use the past simple here.) ;-)
 

Tdol

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Informally in BE, we try to avoid unnecessary past perfects. ;-)
 

dduck

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RonBee said:
Use the past perfect to talk about an event that occured before another event in the past, both events having occurred previous to the statement.

Example:
  • I had eaten before Donna got home.

:)

What about this one?

By the time he had found a parking space, he was already late for the show.

Iain
 

RonBee

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dduck said:
RonBee said:
Use the past perfect to talk about an event that occured before another event in the past, both events having occurred previous to the statement.

Example:
  • I had eaten before Donna got home.

:)

What about this one?

By the time he had found a parking space, he was already late for the show.

Iain

That is good too. (You could also use simple past there.)

:)
 

Tdol

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dduck said:
What about this one?

By the time he had found a parking space, he was already late for the show.

Iain

I take it that when he arrived the show had already started, then. ;-)
 
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