a $500 fine for what he <did><had done> was nothing

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Source:

People in power take care of their own

Sample sentence:

Well, true to form, he got off with next to nothing - a $500 fine for what he <did><had done> was nothing, especially with the salary he commands. Any citizen who would have done what he did would have been nailed to the cross.

Question:

Would it be correct to use "had done" instead of "did" in the above sentence? If so, which is better?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks Linkway.

    Well, true to form, he got off with next to nothing - a $500 fine for what he had done was nothing, especially with the salary he commands. Any citizen who would have done what he <did><had done> would have been nailed to the cross.

    Should I use "had done" here to match the bolded black "had done" earlier in the sentence, or should I use "did"?
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks PaulQ.
    This verb is in a separate clause and can take its own tense. (What I don't understand is the use of "would have done")
    I will change the structure of the sentence so that it follows the pattern of the third conditional:

    Well, true to form, he got off with next to nothing - a $500 fine for what he had done was nothing, especially with the salary he commands. If any citizen had done what he <did><had done>, they would have been nailed to the cross.

    What do you mean by "its own tense", are they both correct? If so, what tense is most natural here "did" or "had done"?
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Well, true to form, he got off with next to nothing - a $500 fine for what he had done was nothing, especially with the salary he commands. Any citizen who would have done what he <did><had done> would have been nailed to the cross.

    Should I use "had done" here to match the bolded black "had done" earlier in the sentence, or should I use "did"?
    I would use "did" in the second sentence, but could use either (I don't think I can explain the nuances) in the first.
     
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