had gotten the sense and <had run away / ran away> [sequence of actions]

vladv

Senior Member
Russian-Russia
Please look at the following "It was still early in Mr. Putin’s presidency, and we weren’t sure what to expect of this ex-K.G.B. spy fresh off the famous summit meeting where President George W. Bush had gotten “a sense of his soul” and pronounced him “trustworthy.”" As for me, the underlined construction in past perfect is parallel - so it could be " he had gotten .. and had pronounced". Right? But what if we had a strong verb in the second half of the construction, say to run. So it woud be "he had gotten the sense of his soul and had run away" or could it be that he had gotten the sense of his soul and ran away, implying that he firstly had gotten the sense , than ran away and both these actions happened before the main timeline - " "It was still early in Mr. Putin’s presidency, and we weren’t sure what to expect". Thanks for help.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I'm a bit confused by your paragraph. I'm not sure how many questions you are asking. But the difference between past and past perfect is time sequence, not "strong verb".

    George W. Bush had gotten “a sense of his soul” and pronounced him “trustworthy.”" As for me, the underlined construction in past perfect is parallel - so it could be " he had gotten .. and had pronounced". Right?
    Not right. It is not parallel, and cannot use "had" for both verbs.

    It is a time sequence: First, he got a sense of his soul. Only after that could he "pronounce him" trustworthy. He could not say that until after he had gotten a sense of his soul. They do not happen at the same time. That is why "had" is used for the first one: it happened before the second one.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    ...he had gotten a sense of his soul and (had) pronounced him “trustworthy"...

    I think "had" is optional there, and you may repeat either just the auxiliary, or subject + auxiliary.

    ...he had gotten a sense of his soul and had run away...
    ...the famous summit meeting where President George W. Bush had gotten a sense of his soul and had become his firm friend...

    I would definitely prefer to repeat the auxiliary in my version of your sentence (I think it provides more of a parallel than "run away") and I agree that, without it, there is a temptation to read the phrase as "and became his firm friend..." Without the auxiliary, it isn't immediately obvious to the reader that "run" and "become" are past participles.

    I think that the simple past "ran" or "became" would not be possible, or would make the sentence too awkward and confusing.
     
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