No sooner had the tennis players gone (verb tense)

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New Member
Spanish- Spain
Hello All,

Currently, I´m practicing for the CAE exam, and I´m doing some exams to improve my chances to get a high grade. In the rewriting part of one of these exams, I have found a grammar tense that I´ve never seen before. Could you help me to find out which kind of tense is?

No sooner had the tennis players gone onto the court than it started raining --> the tense that I don´t know is the one which is written in red, it has the same structure as a question but it isn´t a question

Thank you so much
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The tense is the ordinary past perfect: the tennis players had gone. The subject and auxiliary are inverted because of 'no sooner': No sooner was I home, than I heard the phone ring. No sooner did I see him, than I remembered what I wanted to say to him.


    Senior Member
    English - British
    Surely the past perfect is the proper tense to follow the phrase 'no sooner', because the first event mentioned is really prior, even though the sentence appears to assert that the two events were simultaneous.
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