I'm pretty sure that I can use 'past tense' where we can use 'past perfect'. The only difference..

jihoon

Senior Member
korean
I'm pretty sure that I can use 'past tense' where we can use 'past perfect'. The only difference that I feel is if speaker is willing to emphasize the fact something had happened before another happened. Here are examples.

  1. They started to work on this project, and about a month after that, I started.

  2. They had started to work on this project, and about a month after that, I started.

  3. They started to work on this project about a month before I started.

  4. They had started to work on this project about a month before I started.
I feel all of them are available and natural, I prefer #2,4 though. Am I right?
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    (1) and (4) are the better sentences. The problem with (2) is that we don't use the past perfect in narrating events sequentially. We say, "We went to dinner and then we saw a movie," not *"We had gone to dinner and then we saw a movie."
     
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