EN: because he (had) killed King Harold

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Gladys23, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Gladys23 Junior Member

    Hi everybody,
    I'd like to know if the tense I have chosen in this sentence is correct:
    " He was called William the Conqueror because he had killed King Harold"
    We can't say: "He was called William the Conqueror because he killed King Harold", can we?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Perdrix

    Perdrix Junior Member

    Jacksonville, FL
    English - USA
    To my ear, both are acceptable. Either way, the action is placed in the past.
     
  3. Gladys23 Junior Member

    Thanks a lot Perdrix but do the two sentences have the exact same meaning?
    I mean, as the action "to kill King Harold" took place before the action "to be called Wiliam the conqueror", isn't it more logical to use the pluperfect?
     
  4. Perdrix

    Perdrix Junior Member

    Jacksonville, FL
    English - USA
    It seems more logical, yes, but it is understood in the sentence that uses the perfect tense that the action took place beforehand. "Because I did x, y happened" is used just as often as "Because I had done x, y happened." The "because" separates the two events, making it clear that the cause took place before the effect, so the pluperfect is not necessary.
     
  5. Gladys23 Junior Member

    OK, I got it. Thank you very much for your explanation.
     
  6. Perdrix

    Perdrix Junior Member

    Jacksonville, FL
    English - USA
    You're quite welcome.
     
  7. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    I agree that the pluperfect is the more "correct" form (and I suggest that you do use it in exams etc). As Perdrix says you might well also hear the preterite. For me it sounds a bit colloquial but normal.

    You hear it commonly in situations where the two actions are quite close together, ie "he shut the door because his wife told him to".
     

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