<Because> I <had> won the lottery and

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Context:

John says to Chris: "Why were you so happy when I met you last Sunday?" Chris replies to John with one of the sentences below.

Sample sentences:

1A. Because I had won the lottery and was going to buy a new house.

2A. Because I had won the lottery and had a lot of money.

1B. I had won the lottery and was going to buy a new house.

2B. I had won the lottery and had a lot of money.

Question:

Is the past perfect "had won" correct and natural in the sample sentences? Would they also be correct and natural if the "had" was omitted?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I prefer had won, the reason being that were you so happy refers to a state.

    You would omit the had if the question had been Why did you become so happy?/Why were you suddenly happy?
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I would be more specific about the lottery rather than using Past Perfect. E.g.:

    Because I won the lottery two days before, and was going to buy a new house.
    Because I won the lottery on Friday, and was going to buy a new house.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for your responses, e2efour and VicNicSor.
    Because I won the lottery two days before, and was going to buy a new house.
    I would use "had won" because "two days before" refers to a time earlier than the time being used as a reference time. The reference time is the point at which "you were so happy".
    Because I won the lottery on Friday, and was going to buy a new house.
    "Friday" is a specific time reference, so I would use "won" here like you did.
    Context:

    John says to Chris: "Why were you so happy when I met you last Sunday?"
    I prefer had won, the reason being that were you so happy refers to a state.
    If the question was "Why did you give me $1000 when I met you last Sunday?" instead of "Why were you so happy when I met you last Sunday?", in which case "did you give me" does not refer to a state, I think you would still prefer the past perfect "had won" because the winning would be earlier in time than the giving of the money. Am I right?
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I would use "had won" because "two days before" refers to a time earlier than the time being used as a reference time.
    "Before" makes the sequence of events clear, so Past Perfect is not needed (but would not be a mistake, of course).
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Context:

    John says to Chris: "Why were you so happy when I met you last Sunday?" Chris replies to John with one of the sentences below.
    1A. Because I had won the lottery and was going to buy a new house.

    2A. Because I had won the lottery and had a lot of money.

    1B. I had won the lottery and was going to buy a new house.

    2B. I had won the lottery and had a lot of money.
    If John's question was "Why did you give me $1000 when I met you last Sunday?" instead of "Why were you so happy when I met you last Sunday?", in which case "did you give me" does not refer to a state, would the simple past "won" be preferable to the past perfect "had won" in 1A, 2A, 1B, and 2B?

    I think not because the winning would still be earlier in time than the giving of the money. But could anyone please confirm this? Thanks in advance.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    If the question was "Why did you give me $1000 when I met you last Sunday?" instead of "Why were you so happy when I met you last Sunday?", in which case "did you give me" does not refer to a state, I think you would still prefer the past perfect "had won" because the winning would be earlier in time than the giving of the money. Am I right?
    Corrrect!
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for your responses, e2efour and BrownJames.
    If John's question was "Why did you give me $1000 when I met you last Sunday?"
    If I were to exclude the when-clause from John's question, like this:

    John: "Why did you give me $1000?"
    2A. Because I had won the lottery and had a lot of money.
    2B. I had won the lottery and had a lot of money.
    Should the "had" be used in Chris's sentences, or should it be omitted?
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the response, RM1(SS).

    How about BE speakers?
    Why did you give me $1000 when I met you last Sunday?
    With the red when-clause included e2efour, who is a BE speaker, prefers to include the "had" in 2A and 2B:
    2A. Because I had won the lottery and had a lot of money.
    2B. I had won the lottery and had a lot of money.
    Would the "had" not be preferred in BE if the stricken when-clause was excluded?
     
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