tense

azz

Senior Member
armenian
a. The last time I had met her, I had told her that I was a student.

b. The last time I had met her, I told her that I was a student.

Which sentence has the right tense?
 
  • Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    azz said:
    a. The last time I had met her, I had told her that I was a student.

    b. The last time I had met her, I told her that I wasa student.

    Which sentence has the right tense?

    Hi azz :p !!!

    I'd say the first one is correct. Although it's sounds strange to my non-native ears.

    I'd say " The last time I met her, I told her I was a student"

    In the second sentence the event of meeting her is previous to that one of telling her ?? :arrow: so it seems that you must use the past perfect in both parts of the sentence.


    Let's wait for the natives... :thumbsup: :idea: :thumbsup:
     

    azz

    Senior Member
    armenian
    Hi Artella and The Tree,

    The thing is that I want to keep the past perfect in the time clause.


    On that sunny April day, I was walking to Clara's place. I was supposed to be there at three o'clock in the afternoon and I was afraid I might be late.
    a. The last time I had seen her, I had been late a bit and she had taken it very badly.
    b. The last time I had seen her, I was late a bit and she took it very badly.
     

    Lora

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I would say,
    The last time I saw her, I was a bit late and she took it very badly.

    I don't think a) is right...I don't understand why you're using the pluperfect....might need a minute or two to think about that.
     

    Nick

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I think choice A is correct (past perfect in all cases) but that what Lora suggested sounds much more natural (no past perfect). I don't know whether it is acceptable to mix past perfect with simple past.
     

    azz

    Senior Member
    armenian
    Hi Lora and Nick,
    I wonder if the simple past would work in that context.

    I saw her 8 months ago. Then I saw her three months later. The last time I saw her was a week ago.
    I saw her 8 months ago. The last time I had seen her was a week before (that).

    a. I saw her a month ago. The last time I had seen her she had told me she was pregnant.
    b. I saw her a month ago. The last time I had seen her she told me she was pregnant.
     

    Lora

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Argh I hate the pluperfect tense!!!! lol

    How about:
    I saw her a month ago. The last time I saw her she had told me she was pregnant.

    I'm not saying that's correct, just putting it up as another option.
     

    azz

    Senior Member
    armenian
    Hi Lora,
    I don't know whether it is correct or not either. Let's wait and see what the others say.
    You are a native speaker. Does it sound right to you?
     

    Nick

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I realize that it is acceptable to mix past perfect with simple past. The event described by the past perfect happened first in time. Examples:
    She had never seen a bear before she moved to Alaska.
    The thief had spent the money when the police caught him.
    I watched television after I had finished the dishes.
    In summary, I don't think there is a difference in meaning between past perfect + simple past and past perfect + past perfect. If anyone can point out a difference, please let us know. I think the following sentences are equal.
    She had never seen a bear before she moved to Alaska.
    She had never seen a bear before she had moved to Alaska.

     

    azz

    Senior Member
    armenian
    I think in those sentences they are interchangable.

    But:
    The last time I saw her, she had bought a new dress.
    and:
    The last time I saw her, she bought a new dress.
    don't mean the same.

    Question is: do
    The last time I had seen her, she had bought a new dress.
    and:
    The last time I had seen her, she bought a new dress.
    mean the same?
    Is the second one correct?
    And does the first one mean she bought it when she was with me, she had bought it before I saw her, or could it mean both?
     

    Lora

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Nick said:
    I realize that it is acceptable to mix past perfect with simple past. The event described by the past perfect happened first in time. Examples:
    She had never seen a bear before she moved to Alaska.

    The thief had spent the money when the police caught him.
    I watched television after I had finished the dishes.

    In summary, I don't think there is a difference in meaning between past perfect + simple past and past perfect + past perfect. If anyone can point out a difference, please let us know. I think the following sentences are equal.
    She had never seen a bear before she moved to Alaska.

    She had never seen a bear before she had moved to Alaska.


    I agree with the first three examples that you gave - I think that it needs to be past perfect (or pluperfect as I keep refering to it) followed by simple past.
    In the three examples given here, there are time phrases or clues which tells us that the action in the past perfect happened first (hence the use of the past perfect) - adverbials of time such as 'after,' 'before' and 'when'.
    In the examples azz gives us there aren't such clues.
    I don't think it's sounds natural to use past perfect in both clauses, I think the past perfect should be used for the first action. So if she had bought the dress before you saw her:
    The last time I saw her she had bought the dress.
    If she bought it when you there:
    The last time I saw her she bought the dress.

    Well that's my take on it at the moment - I'll probably change my mind :)
     
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