|Free reference guides to English Grammar|
Practical English Usage, Grammar terms
Vocabulary, Speaking and Writing
English Lesson of the Day
Practical English Usage
English grammar and vocabulary exercises
Correct use of the past perfect tense
Traditional grammarians have always maintained that the past perfect tense must be used when the time of one past action is more past than that of another.
Sometimes we can use time conjunctions (e.g. before, after, when, while, as soon as, no sooner etc.) to talk about two actions or events that happen one after the other. Usually the past perfect tense is not necessary in these cases, though it can be used.
Though the past perfect tense is not necessary in these sentences, it is used when we want to emphasize the idea of completion.
Cases where the past perfect tense is not possible
The past perfect tense is not used when the first action ‘leads into’ the other or when there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the two actions. In such cases we use two simple past tenses.
Here two simple past tenses are used because there is a cause-and-effect link between the two actions: I wouldn’t have seen the strange sight if I hadn’t opened the door.
Past perfect tenses are normally only used as described above. The past perfect is not used simply to say that something happened some time ago.
|English Grammar |||Practical English Usage |||Grammatical terms |||English Writing |||English speaking |||Vocabulary ||
|Copyright © 2006 - 2009 perfectyourenglish.com|
All Rights Reserved.