The dog was devouring the food as if he hadn't eaten properly for ages.

Nightowll

Senior Member
Italian
Someone took in a stray dog. When I went over to see him, the owner said the dog never stopped begging for food and now he was again gorging on food in his bowl.

The dog was devouring the food as if he hadn't eaten properly for ages.

The dog was devouring the food as if he had never eaten properly for ages.

I don't know if I should say hadn't eaten or had never eaten in this case. Which would you say?
 
  • Dryan

    Senior Member
    English - Northeastern U.S.
    I prefer the first one.

    "The dog was devouring the food as if he hadn't eaten properly in ages."
    He has eaten properly before but it's been a very long time since he has.

    "The dog was devouring the food as if he had never eaten properly in ages."
    "...never eaten properly..." means he never has. It's awkward to qualify never with another expression of time.
     
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