...they<had>ever lived...

sagar grammar

Senior Member
Namaste,
Dear members.

1- Frozen foods are so popular today that many people wonder how they ever lived without them.
.
2- Frozen foods are so popular today that many people wonder how they had ever lived without them.

Which one is correct?
.
I found #1 in Errors Spotting in English language - 2 | Bank Exams Today and they say #1 is wrong and they suggest using #2 instead.
.
To me #1 is fine.
Please correct me if I am wrong.

Thank you. :)
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Number two is correct; I hear #1 in conversation often, but I would not use it.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    I consider sentence 1 correct, and find sentence 2 strange and incorrect.

    The past perfect is used when relating one past event to another past event. That doesn't happen in this sentence.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Past perfect is used to show that you are unhappy or dissatisfied with something in the past.

    It was the worst vacation that they have ever had.

    It was the hottest summer that they have ever had experienced.

    It was the loneliest time he had ever had.

    He was the most hungry he had ever been; if only he had some frozen food he would have been happy.
     

    TheCrociato91

    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    @Packard
    In all of your examples, the main clause is in the past (and therefore I agree you should use a past perfect in the subordinate clause).
    However, in the sentences provided by the OP the main clause is expressed in the present tense. That's why I feel that the simple past should be used.
    My two cents though, I could be wrong.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I agree with Glen (and sagar and Crociato).

    "I love frozen foods. How did I ever live without them, I wonder?"
    She wonders how she ever lived without them.
    She wondered how she had lived without them for so many years.


     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    The more I listen to it, the less certain I am. I think it could go either way.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    However, in the sentences provided by the OP the main clause is expressed in the present tense.
    True. That point means there is no ground here for backshifting under the rules of indirect statement. So far, so clear.

    However, looking at it from the speaker's viewpoint, it is also clear that considerable time has elapsed since the introduction of frozen foods: time enough for them to become a standard feature of modern life. The time when people lived without them must be prior to the time when they were introduced, and that creates the reference point for the past perfect tense in the speaker's perspective.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I also think 1) is fine.

    1- Frozen foods are so popular today that many people wonder how they ever lived without them.
    .
    2- Frozen foods were so popular by the 1970s that many people wondered how they had ever lived without them.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Past perfect is used to show that you are unhappy or dissatisfied with something in the past.
    No it isn't, as you'll see by replacing worst, hottest, and loneliest in your sentences with best, most gorgeous, and finest, respectively.


    It was the worst vacation that they have ever had.

    It was the hottest summer that they have ever had experienced.
    These two sentences are in the present perfect.

    It was the loneliest time he had ever had.

    He was the most hungry he had ever been; if only he had some frozen food he would have been happy.
    These two, at least, are in the past perfect, but -- as with the sentence in the OP -- there is no reason to use that tense unless you are relating the event to some other past event.

    Q. Do you know that one scene in Showgirls?
    A. Oh, that's the worst movie I had ever seen! :cross:
    Q. Had ever seen prior to what? :confused:
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The pluperfect doesn't work for me there with a present tense in the main clause.
    That point means there is no ground here for backshifting under the rules of indirect statement.
    The ground for using the past perfect is different:
    The time when people lived without them [frozen foods] must be prior to the time when they were introduced, and that creates the reference point for the past perfect tense in the speaker's perspective.
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    He was the most hungry he had ever been; if only he had some frozen food he would have been happy.
    as with the sentence in the OP -- there is no reason to use that tense unless you are relating the event to some other past event.
    Do you mean that it should be "He was the most hungry he ever was; if only he had some frozen food he would have been happy."?
     

    sagar grammar

    Senior Member
    Namaste,
    Dear members.

    1- Frozen foods are so popular today that many people wonder how they ever lived without them.
    .
    2- Frozen foods are so popular today that many people wonder how they had ever lived without them.

    Which one is correct?
    .
    I found #1 in Errors Spotting in English language - 2 | Bank Exams Today and they say #1 is wrong and they suggest using #2 instead.
    .
    To me #1 is fine.
    Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Thank you. :)
    #1 is perfect, and #2 is not correct.
    .
    I believe the link I provided in the OP is misleading because here is another link, which says there is no error Spotting Errors For SBI PO : Set – 32 – Bankers Daily
    .
    And I found the very sentence here http://www.entranzz.com/SSCCGL TIER-II/English/Jumbled Sentences/1480.html where it is not even a part of error correction, but it is a part of sentence arrangement.
    .
    There is no error.
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    No, unfortunately your version ("He was the most hungry he ever was") is incorrect.
    Thank you for your reply.:) I felt it was wrong.:) But I am confused though.:confused: If you could please take a look at your post 12 where you quoted Packard's two sentences
    It was the loneliest time he had ever had.

    He was the most hungry he had ever been; if only he had some frozen food he would have been happy.
    and then wrote the following
    These two, at least, are in the past perfect, but -- as with the sentence in the OP -- there is no reason to use that tense unless you are relating the event to some other past event.
    I understood that the first sentence should be "It was the loneliest time he ever had." but then what part of the second sentence should change into the past simple?

    Please tell me.:)
     
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