How much had you heard about

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nagomi

Senior Member
Korean
"ABDELFATAH: So in this first episode, we're going to take you to Iran and the story of four days in 1953.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ABDELFATAH: All right, Ramtin, you were born in Iran. And you've spent a bunch of time there. So I'm curious. How much had you heard about this American coup growing up?"


I've seen that "have + present perfect" means something has happened over time continuosly or has happened interminttenly not at specific times. But this one doesn't hold true for "had + present perfect". It's only used to show the time difference with a simple past if one is used before. But the only past event that was mentioned in sompl past earleir is that he was born. So I feel having heared about the American coup growing up can't be said to have happened before he was born.

How should I see this "had you heard about"?

source: Four Days In August
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's only used to show the time difference with a simple past if one is used before.
    Not at all. In addition to its role of shifting the time of the action backwards, the past perfect has all the meanings of the present perfect, but set at some time in the past rather than being set in the present.

    If the interviewer was asking about how much they had heard in the present, they would have used the present perfect: How much have you heard about this American coup? But the interviewer is not interested in how much the person has heard now, but what they had heard while they were growing up, so the past perfect is used instead.
     
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