By the time + Pluperfect = ?

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Senior Member
France, French

I'm working on an English sentence and I was wondering if the expression "by the time" required the use of a Past Simple or a Pluperfect. Here's my sentence:

"By the time of the court date, many key witnesses confirming Garrison's conspiracy theory had mysteriously died."

In fact, I don't know if "by the time" means:
- during this time, prior to the court date (=> then we would use a past simple, I think...)
- from this particular point in the past AND looking back at previous events (=> then we would use a pluperfect, if I don't make any mistake)

Thanks in advance and don't esitate to tell me whether my question is clear or not! Bye!!! :)
  • speedier

    Senior Member
    Hi alatien34,

    I'm not quite sure of your question. Nor am I a grammarian, but the sentence that you have used seems completely correct to me.

    That is "had mysteriously died" is correct.

    This could also be of some use:

    It seems to me that here:

    "by the time of the court date" = "from the time that the key witnesses had been identified (as key witnesses) up until the time of the court date"

    I'm not sure that I have answered your question, but I hope that it helps.
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