I <had won><won> the lottery and had a lot of money

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Context:

Winning the lottery is earlier in time than sitting in an expensive restaurant.

Sample sentences:

Dialog #1:

John: "Why were you sitting in an expensive restaurant when I saw you on Sunday morning?"
Chris: "I <had won><won> the lottery and had a lot of money."

Dialog #2:

John: "Why were you sitting in an expensive restaurant when I saw you?"
Chris: "I <had won><won> the lottery and had a lot of money."

Dialog #3:

John: "Why were you sitting in an expensive restaurant on Sunday morning?"
Chris: "I <had won><won> the lottery and had a lot of money."

Dialog #4:

John: "Why were you sitting in an expensive restaurant?"
Chris: "I <had won><won> the lottery and had a lot of money."

Question:

My question is similar to the one I asked in another thread. The difference between the question in the linked thread and the one in this thread is that "were sitting" refers to a state, whereas "did you give" refers to a momentary action. So, my question is:

Is it correct that the past perfect is needed in dialogs #1, #2, and #3 if Chris wants to emphasize that he won the lottery before the time represented by the underlined time marker, and is it correct that without the past perfect the implication would be that Chris won the lottery on the occasion represented by the time marker (on Sunday morning in dialogs #1 and #3, for example), but not before that occasion?

Is it correct that even though there is no explicit time marker in dialog #4, the state represented by "were sitting" implies one, and so the past perfect indicates that the winning took place before the time specified by the implicit time marker, whereas the simple past indicates that the winning took place on the occasion specified by the implicit time marker?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the response, TT.
    In your first example, I'd use the past perfect.
    Dialog #1:

    John: "Why were you sitting in an expensive restaurant when I saw you on Sunday morning?"
    Chris: "I <had won><won> the lottery and had a lot of money."
    Does the use of the past perfect imply this:

    Chris's winning the lottery and John's seeing Chris both happened on Sunday morning. The former happened before the latter, but both happened on Sunday morning.

    Or does it imply the following:

    Chris's winning the lottery happened before Sunday morning. John's seeing Chris happened on Sunday morning.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Firstly there is no difference between your four examples because the two parties both know when the event took place, so regardless of how John phrases the question, Chris can answer in the same way.
    The fact that Chris uses « had » a lot of money implies that he no longer has it, and therefore like TT I would use the past perfect for the winning. I don’t agree with your theory about emphasis and I don’t think it makes any difference whether it’s a state or an event. You keep looking for grammatical markers to determine which tense to use and this is doomed to failure - the tense is determined by the context, and of course every time you change the grammar of your example this risks changing the context, giving you an answer which you believe is linked to the grammar structure when in fact it usually isn’t.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the response, Glasguensis.
    like TT I would use the past perfect for the winning.
    You say you would use the past perfect in the example below:
    Dialog #1:

    John: "Why were you sitting in an expensive restaurant when I saw you on Sunday morning?"
    Chris: "I <had won><won> the lottery and had a lot of money."
    Here's a similar example from the linked thread:
    Dialog #1:

    John: "Why did you give me $1000 when I met you last Sunday?"
    Chris: "I <had> won the lottery and had a lot of money."
    If I understand your comment correctly, you would prefer the simple past in it:
    I would say that in both AE and BE it would be more common to use the simple past here. (this link)
    Could you please explain why your preference is different? Why does the same principle not apply to the sentence with "were you sitting"?

    As far as I can tell, the only difference between the first dialog (post #1) and the first dialog from the linked thread is that "were you sitting" refers to a state, whereas "did you give" refers to an action.
    I don’t agree with your theory about emphasis
    That is not my theory, but lingobingo's.
    Is it correct that the past perfect is needed in dialogs #1, #2, and #3 if Chris wants to emphasize that he won the lottery before the time represented by the underlined time marker, and is it correct that without the past perfect the implication would be that Chris won the lottery on the occasion represented by the time marker (on Sunday morning in dialogs #1 and #3, for example), but not before that occasion?
    Is it correct that even though there is no explicit time marker in dialog #4, the state represented by "were sitting" implies one, and so the past perfect indicates that the winning took place before the time specified by the implicit time marker, whereas the simple past indicates that the winning took place on the occasion specified by the implicit time marker?
    The two quoted questions (post #1) are based on the logic outlined by lingobingo in the linked thread:
    My reason for stating that the past perfect is needed in examples 1–3 is that they specifically refer to a past occasion and/or time: when I met you / last Sunday. If you then say “I won the lottery”, there’s an implication that you mean you did so on that occasion/day.

    Why did you give me that money on Sunday? — I won the lottery. (on Sunday?!)
    Why did you give me that money on Sunday? — I’d won the lottery. :tick: (before that day)
    Why did you give me that money on Sunday? — I had a lot of money. :tick: (on that day)
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Thanks for the response, Glasguensis.

    You say you would use the past perfect in the example below:

    Could you please explain why your preference is different? Why does the same principle not apply to the sentence with "were you sitting"?
    I confirm that my preference is different but it’s hard to be sure why: I think it’s probably to do with the directness of the interaction (seeing someone as opposed to receiving money). But it’s certainly a contextual rather than a grammatical difference. And not all other native speakers would make the same choices, and even if they did they might have different reasons for doing so.

    That is not my theory, but lingobingo's.

    The two quoted questions (post #1) are based on the logic outlined by lingobingo in the linked thread:
    I stand corrected : I don’t agree with Lingobingo’s theory.
     
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