Ever since [+ past / past perfect]


New Member
English UK
He had known her ever since he was a child.

Ever since the news had spread around town, no one had talked about anything else.

In the main clause, the verb is past perfect. Is there a rule to decide whether the verb in the sub-clause, introduced by "ever since", should be past or past perfect?

Both the above sentences sound correct to me, but in the first ("ever since he was a child") the verb is in the past, in the second ("Ever since the news had spread around town") the verb is in the past perfect. Should there be a difference?

Other examples would be:

She'd been sitting on the sofa ever since she arrived.

Ever since the play had started, they hadn't been able to say anything to each other.

  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I don't think it makes any difference. All those sentences would be much the same if you swapped the tenses.
    < Previous | Next >