have taken / has taken

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New Member
Cantonese - Hong Kong
I have been visiting this forum a lot and found it very helpful. This is my very first post as i couldn't find any similar thread to this question.

When I found my wallet, I discovered that someone __________ all my credit cards and cash.
1. took (action was finished, someone did take it)
2. has taken (action happens in the past with connection to the present; All my credit cards and cash are gone now-I am very confused with this usage)
3. had taken ( action happened before I discovered)

I think all the above answers are possible but I prefer1 and 3. Which one is the best answer (most idiomatic expression) to this question? Could you also please explain in which situation no.2 should be used?
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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    Hi, Bebe. I prefer "had taken" in that sentence. They took the credit cards before you found your wallet. It's ordinary to use the past perfect to refer to something that happened before another thing happened in the past.

    The past simple "took" also makes sense in that sentence. However, "took" doesn't highlight the idea that they took the cards before you found the wallet. The listener will probably understand the sequence of events because it's logical to believe they stole the cards before you found the wallet.
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