because he <had> realized how Salieri was ripping us off

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JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Source:

Mafia: The City Of Lost Heaven (a computer game).

Context:

Some time ago, Don Salieri ordered Tom, Sam, and Paulie to steal some crates with cigars. Now, Paulie is dead because he and Tom robbed a bank and didn't tell Don Salieri anything about it. Don Salieri has sent Sam to kill Tom. Tom is telling Sam why Paulie decided to rob the bank.

Sample sentence:

Tom: "We almost got killed because of those stupid cigars. Salieri knew that the job was risky. There were diamonds hidden between those cigars. He didn't want to give us a cut. That's why Paulie wanted to take the bank, because he had realized how Salieri was ripping us off."

Question:

The "had" in bold isn't included in the original. Is the sentence correct both with and without it?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • Flooooooooor

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Hi JJXR,

    Both versions are grammatical, but they convey slightly different meanings about the timeline. I think with had, it sounds more like Paulie had already realized that Salieri was trying to rip him off and knew this for some amount of time before deciding that he wanted to rob the bank.

    Without had, it sounds more like Paulie realized that Salieri was trying to rip him off and very shortly after that point, almost immediately after, decided that he wanted to rob the bank.

    Similarly, picture these sentences being spoken:

    1. That's why Bob decided to break up with Sam, because he had seen Sam's heart-filled text messages with another man. (Some time might have passed.)​
    2. That's why Bob decided to break up with Sam, because he saw Sam's heart-filled text messages with another man. (More immediate.)​
     

    pachanga7

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Hello,

    I agree with flooooor that the original version conveys more immediacy. But more than that, the guy is arguing for his life. He is presenting his case with as much urgency and strength as possible. Introducing “had” as an auxiliary verb slows you down and makes you ponder Paulie’s mental state at the time, there’s more interiority invoked for the listener. Tom needs Sam to stay with him and not go thinking too much. Tom is trying hard to stay in control of the situation, therefore he’s keeping close reins on the grammar, nothing superfluous.

    Hope that makes sense.
     
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