7 different ways of making up chronology with past perfect tense

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jihoon

Senior Member
korean
I'd like to say "I got used to coffee first, and then I went to Brazil to try more later."

1. I had gotten used to coffee before I went on a trip to Brazil to try many different types of coffee.
before~ is a time marker(just modifying when getting used to coffee),
not a time reference(there has to be specific event that happened after past perfect and before now)
So I think there's an error of using past perfect in isolation. We need more context.

2. When I had gotten used to coffee, I went on a trip to Brazil to try many different types of coffee
"When" can mean "immediately after", so getting used to first, going on a trip later.
And here, past perfect is corresponding with "went on a trip" as a time reference.

3. After I had gotten used to coffee, I went on a trip to Brazil to try many different types of coffee
Ok

4. I had gotten used to coffee, and after that, I went on a trip to Brazil to try many different types of coffee
Ok

5. I had gotten used to coffee, and it was after the time that I went on a trip to Brazil to try many different types of coffee
Too long, but still Ok

6. I had gotten used to coffee, and it was after that that I went on a trip to Brazil to try many different types of coffee
Too long, but still Ok

7. I had finally gotten used to coffee, and it was that moment that I went on a trip to Brazil to try many different types of coffee
Getting used to coffee is prolonged verb, but when it is used with "finally", it can be used as point verb. So finally getting used can be expressed with the moment.

8. I had finally gotten used to coffee, and it was then that I went on a trip to Brazil to try many different types of coffee
Getting used to coffee is prolonged verb, but when it is used with "finally", it can be used as point verb. So finally getting used can be expressed with Then


Am I right to think this way?
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    a) Most of those analyses are correct, except for no.5 which expresses the opposite of what you mean.
    b) It is rare that we will want to express these nuances in such detail or at such length. In particular "it was then that" is most often collapsed into simply "then".
    c) By and large, the mere order of phrases in a sentence will suggest their chronological order of occurrence.
    d) All of these, of course, are American usage. British speakers wil use "got" in place of "gotten".
     
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