began/had begun

Shooting Stars

Senior Member
Chinese
On 6 March 2014, FIFA announced that bidding had begun for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. (2019 FIFA Women's World Cup - Wikipedia)

Using "had begun", the sentence appears to suggest countries have already bid for some time before the announcement. I was wondering if if it is better to use "began".

Thank you.
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    No, it is fine as it is. The bidding began before FIFA announced it - this is the sequence of events suggested by the past perfect tense.
     

    Shooting Stars

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Sorry I haven't provided enought context,.

    On 6 March 2014, FIFA announced that bidding had begun for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. Member associations interested in hosting the tournament had to submit a declaration of interest by 15 April 2014, and provide the complete set of bidding documents by 31 October 2014.[3] As a principle, FIFA preferred the 2019 Women's World Cup and the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup to be hosted by the same member association, but reserved the right to award the hosting of the events separately.

    How could it be possible that countries have already bid(= submitted bidding documents) before FIFA make the announcement?
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    How could it be possible that countries have already bid(= submitted bidding documents) before FIFA make the announcement?
    They are not saying that documents have been submitted - this may well be the case, but they are not saying it. They are saying that the bidding process had begun. It began before they came up with the announcement. I do not know how it is possible, but this is what the sentence says.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    It's normal backshifting.

    FIFA: "Bidding has begun." (Bidding = The bidding process/procedure.)
    FIFA announced that bidding had begun.
     

    Shooting Stars

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    It's normal backshifting.
    Thank you for your reply.

    I have not doubt it is a backshift. My doubt is why a backshit has to be used. The backshift doesn't appear to make sense.

    On 6 March 2014, FIFA makes the announcement which sets deadlines for bidding. I take the announcement as the start of bidding process. Countries have already bid for some time, long before the start of the bidding process. How could it be possible?

    That is why I think the backshift does not make sense.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    The back-shifting does make sense. It reveals the sequence of events. The bidding may have started before it was officially announced. Maybe, still, they do not refer to the official process of bidding but to some unofficial behind-the-scene talks. Whatever the case, the bidding started before the announcement, perhaps shortly or immediately before it. I will go so far as to say the past simple tense (began) would sound to me like sloppy and imprecise English.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    FIFA: "Bidding has begun." (Bidding = The bidding process/procedure.)
    This says nothing about the possibility that bids may have already been placed, and it certainly doesn't indicate that bids have already been received. I would expect this announcement to be made even if the first bid didn't come in until two weeks later.
     
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