Past or Past perfect

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RajuMV

Senior Member
Malayalam
Friends,
As an accountant in an office, my job is to close the Provident Fund account of government employees.Before closing a particular account , the accounts for at least 25 years are to be reviewed.

In a case recently come up for closing, the accounts for the entire period have been maintained by three wings of my office.When a new wing starts to maintain a particular account, the balance as on the year end in the account will be transferred to the new wing from the other wing.

In the case mentioneed above, a balance of some amount as on 31-03-1989 was transfered from a wing to an another wing, from that wing the account has been transfered to my wing.

Now, I have to call for the account details of the case up to year 1988-1989 from the concerned wing.

Can I start to write a letter thus:Closing balance in the account No...of Mr... as on 31-03-1989 Rs...(amount) had been transferred to section 10(the second wing mentioned above)....

If was transfered is used in stead of had been transfered, how the meaning differes?

Thanks a lot in anticipation:)
 
  • RajuMV

    Senior Member
    Malayalam
    Friends,
    Here is the first paragraph of an article in a daily.

    Finance minister T.M.Thomas Issac has urged Union Defence Minister A.K.Antony to come out of his silence over the "kickbacks"involved in the deal India had entered in to with the Israeli company Israel Aerospace Industries for developing.......

    Here I think India entered in to is more correct in the place of India had entered in to.

    If otherwise, please say, why?

    Thanks a lot in anticipation:)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The posts above were originally in separate threads, but as they both address the same topic I have brought them together.

    Past perfect is used when speaking about two different "times" in the past and there are no other cues in the sentence to indicate which took place before which. You will find more expert explanations in these links:
    Verb tenses explained:
    http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/verbtenseintro.html

    http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/tenses

    http://www.wordpower.ws/grammar/gramtoc.html


    What does that mean for the two examples above?

    Post #1.
    It's difficult to be certain without a complete sentence and perhaps more context, but from what we have been given there is no reason to use past perfect.

    Post #2.
    This is more complicated.
    Why use present perfect in the main verb "has urged"?
    If the main verb is present perfect then simple past for "India entered into" is sufficient to mark the time difference.
    "... Isaac has urged ..... involved in the deal India entered into ..."

    If the main verb is changed to simple past then you could argue that past perfect is needed for "India had entered into".
    "... Isaac urged ... involved in the deal India had entered into ..."
    You could also argue that there are enough cues in the sentence to make it clear that that the urging happened after India entered into the deal, so both verbs could be simple past.
    "... Isaac urged ... involved in the deal India entered into ..."
     

    RajuMV

    Senior Member
    Malayalam
    The posts above were originally in separate threads, but as they both address the same topic I have brought them together.

    Past perfect is used when speaking about two different "times" in the past and there are no other cues in the sentence to indicate which took place before which. You will find more expert explanations in these links:
    Verb tenses explained:
    http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/verbtenseintro.html

    http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/tenses

    http://www.wordpower.ws/grammar/gramtoc.html

    What does that mean for the two examples above?

    Post #1.
    It's difficult to be certain without a complete sentence and perhaps more context, but from what we have been given there is no reason to use past perfect.

    Post #2.
    This is more complicated.
    Why use present perfect in the main verb "has urged"?
    If the main verb is present perfect then simple past for "India entered into" is sufficient to mark the time difference.
    "... Isaac has urged ..... involved in the deal India entered into ..."

    If the main verb is changed to simple past then you could argue that past perfect is needed for "India had entered into".
    "... Isaac urged ... involved in the deal India had entered into ..."
    You could also argue that there are enough cues in the sentence to make it clear that that the urging happened after India entered into the deal, so both verbs could be simple past.
    "... Isaac urged ... involved in the deal India entered into ..."
    Thank you very much,sir.I have seen a lot of constructions with simple past perfect without mentioning any time as present perfect is used.

    for example: I have completed the work.
    I had completed the work
    If there is no time expression, whether the second sentence is correct or not.
    Please say.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Imagine that yesterday I asked someone to do some work for me.
    Today I meet him and he says to me:
    I have completed the work.
    That sentence is complete. I know that the work I asked him to do has been done.

    Suppose, instead, he says:
    I had completed the work
    This time it is clear that he has something else to tell me. He would not use the past perfect unless he is about to tell me about something that happened after he had completed the work.
    Something else happened after he had completed the work and before now.
    He is probably going to tell me that the work I asked for is not available after all.
    Something like:
    I had completed the work by midnight, but my dog ate it this morning.
     

    RajuMV

    Senior Member
    Malayalam
    Imagine that yesterday I asked someone to do some work for me.
    Today I meet him and he says to me:
    I have completed the work.
    That sentence is complete. I know that the work I asked him to do has been done.

    Suppose, instead, he says:
    I had completed the work
    This time it is clear that he has something else to tell me. He would not use the past perfect unless he is about to tell me about something that happened after he had completed the work.
    Something else happened after he had completed the work and before now.
    He is probably going to tell me that the work I asked for is not available after all.
    Something like:
    I had completed the work by midnight, but my dog ate it this morning.
    Thank you sirBut one more doubt.Since the above sentence is correct, can't I use had been transferred as used in the first thread? Because,the employees reirement has happened after the transfer of the balance.And the detail of the previous account is needed.
    Sir, please clarify this also.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Thank you sirBut one more doubt.Since the above sentence is correct, can't I use had been transferred as used in the first thread? Because,the employees reirement has happened after the transfer of the balance.And the detail of the previous account is needed.
    Sir, please clarify this also.
    I can't answer your question because the sentence you gave is not complete. You posted:
    Closing balance in the account No...of Mr... as on 31-03-1989 Rs...(amount) had been transferred to section 10 ...

    I have no idea what comes next.
    To explain why this matters so much, here are three two possible sentences.
    Closing balance in the account No...of Mr... as on 31-03-1989 Rs...(amount) has been transferred to section 10.

    Closing balance in the account No...of Mr... as on 31-03-1989 Rs...(amount) was transferred to section 10 on 22-04-1989.

    Closing balance in the account No...of Mr... as on 31-03-1989 Rs...(amount) had been transferred to section 10 ... ...
    Oh dear. I can't at the moment think of a satisfactory way to finish this sentence.
     

    RajuMV

    Senior Member
    Malayalam
    I can't answer your question because the sentence you gave is not complete. You posted:
    Closing balance in the account No...of Mr... as on 31-03-1989 Rs...(amount) had been transferred to section 10 ...

    I have no idea what comes next.
    To explain why this matters so much, here are three two possible sentences.
    Closing balance in the account No...of Mr... as on 31-03-1989 Rs...(amount) has been transferred to section 10.

    Closing balance in the account No...of Mr... as on 31-03-1989 Rs...(amount) was transferred to section 10 on 22-04-1989.

    Closing balance in the account No...of Mr... as on 31-03-1989 Rs...(amount) had been transferred to section 10 ... ...
    Oh dear. I can't at the moment think of a satisfactory way to finish this sentence.
    Sir, the intended letter is given below:
    To
    The section officer,
    section 20
    Sir,
    Closing balance in the account No... of Mr... as on 31-03-1989 Rs..had been transferred to section 10 from that section.For closing the account details of the account from 1984-1985 to 1988-1989 may be forwarded to this section urgently, as the account is now maintained in this section.

    Yours faithfully
    Sd
    Section officer, section 16



    Please give further clarification:)
     
    Last edited:

    RajuMV

    Senior Member
    Malayalam
    Can you explain why you chose past perfect - had been transferred?
    Sir, I used had been transferred because I have heard that had can be used without time expression in the same sense as has\have for an action occured before another one.In the case in question, a transferring of balance occurred from section20 to section 10 before the balance was transferred from section 10 to section 16.I, in section 16 ,asked for the account details from section 20 from where the transferring of balance first occurred.Moreover, the employee is now retired and and the transfer of balance was occurred before the retirement.

    I used had been transferred without certainty.That is why I asked about the usage in this thread.

    Please clarrify the correct position:)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Many things have happened since the transfer occurred.
    But that is not at all relevant.
    In your letter, only one thing happened in the past - the balance was transferred.
    You cannot use past perfect in this situation.
     

    RajuMV

    Senior Member
    Malayalam
    Many things have happened since the transfer occurred.
    But that is not at all relevant.
    In your letter, only one thing happened in the past - the balance was transferred.
    You cannot use past perfect in this situation.
    Thank you very much for your valuable teaching. But, one more clarification, please.Which is correcr:has been transferred or was transfereed in the place of had been transferred in my letter?
     
    Last edited:

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Look at the way you described the situation in post #10:
    In the case in question, a transferring of balance occurred from section 20 to section 10 before the balance was transferred from section 10 to section 16. I, in section 16, asked for the account details from section 20 from where the transferring of balance first occurred.

    You consistently used simple past forms of the verbs when you were describing this situation naturally. The events you are talking about occurred at different times, but this information is conveyed to the reader by the sequence of the narrative and by your use of "before", for example.

    In your letter, simple past is satisfactory.
    ... as on 31-03-1989 Rs... was transferred to section 10 from that section.
     

    RajuMV

    Senior Member
    Malayalam
    Look at the way you described the situation in post #10:
    In the case in question, a transferring of balance occurred from section 20 to section 10 before the balance was transferred from section 10 to section 16. I, in section 16, asked for the account details from section 20 from where the transferring of balance first occurred.

    You consistently used simple past forms of the verbs when you were describing this situation naturally. The events you are talking about occurred at different times, but this information is conveyed to the reader by the sequence of the narrative and by your use of "before", for example.

    In your letter, simple past is satisfactory.
    ... as on 31-03-1989 Rs... was transferred to section 10 from that section.
    Thank you very much, sir.Now I am fully satisfied:)
     
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