the problems that had been found <were><had been> addressed

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JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Source:


Disaster Plan Problems Found at U.S. Nuclear Plants

Sample sentence:

Officials said the problems that had been found <were><had been> addressed immediately but not everything had been inspected.

Question:

The simple past "were" is used in the original. I wonder if the past perfect "had been" is also correct here.


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the response, PaulQ.

    I think that "had been" is correct because there is reported speech.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I think that "had been" is correct because there is reported speech.
    Yes, it would be correct. :)

    They may have just used the simple past so as to avoid having three pluperfects in the same sentence, which would inevitably sound a bit clumsy, as well as giving rise to potential confusion over what had happened first.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Unfortunately, the New York Times's website is behind a subscription wall and I can't see the article. Given what you have said, The officials probably said,
    "The problems that we found were dealt with immediately but we haven't inspected everything yet."

    It is not so much reported speech as paraphrased. Consequently, both were and had been are fine - were seems to give some immediacy to it.
     
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