first time I <spoke or had spoken>

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郭巨路

Senior Member
Chinese
That was the first time I ______ English with a foreigner. A spoke B speak C have spoken D had spoken

Which is the correct answer? I chose A, but the answer the textbook gives is D. I am confused.

Thank you.
 
  • Forero

    Senior Member
    Since there is no context besides the sentence itself, A, C, and D are all correct answers:

    That was the first time I ______ English with a foreigner.
    spoke:tick:
    speak:cross:
    have spoken:tick:
    had spoken:tick:

    We can say "I spoke English for the first time."

    However, if the sentence were about the present, you would have to use the perfect:

    This is the first time I ______ English with a foreigner.
    speak:cross:
    have spoken:tick:

    We don't say "I speak English for the first time" except for a future event:

    That will be the first time I speak English with a foreigner.:tick:
    In my opinion , the correct answer is D / had spoken
    Welcome to the forum, Ericpham89.

    Please tell us why you think D is the correct answer.
     
    Last edited:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I couldn't use C because of "that was". "This is the first time I have spoken" would be fine, but "That was the first time I have spoken" seems to me to be an aberrant version of "That was the first time I (ever) spoke". I think A and D are both acceptable.
     
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