Well, I <had> won the lottery and

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Context:

John says to Chris: "What happened to you last week? You smiled a lot." Chris replies to John with one of the sentences below.

Sample sentences:

1. Well, I had won the lottery and was going to buy a new house.

2. Well, I had won the lottery and was in a good mood.

3. Well, I had won the lottery and had a lot of money.

4. Well, I won the lottery and bought a new house.

Question:

The past perfect "had won" works well in sentences #1, #2, and #3 because the underlined parts "was going to buy", "was", and "had" describe a state that existed in the past. The past perfect "had won" refers to what happened prior to that state.

The past perfect "had won" doesn't work in sentence #4 because "bought" is a one-off action rather than a state. Sentence #4 is a report of two events that happened one after the other, and so the simple past "won" should be used in it.

Is this correct?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I wouldn't use Past Perfect in any of the options. The question was "What happened to you last week?", the answer is "I won the lottery and .........".
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I agree. 1-3 all set up a situation where I expect another past event such as ", but I couldn't find the ticket to collect the money" or ", but I dropped the ticket in the river and it was gone forever". The second event, (after the winning of the lottery) that these describe is what is presaged by use of the past perfect. Without such a contnuation, the "had" is out of place.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for your responses, VicNicSor and JulianStuart.
    Context:

    John says to Chris: "What happened to you last week? You smiled a lot." Chris replies to John with one of the sentences below.
    1A. I did smile a lot. I had won the lottery and was going to buy a new house.

    2A. I did smile a lot. I had won the lottery and was in a good mood.

    3A. I did smile a lot. I had won the lottery and had a lot of money.

    4A. I did smile a lot. I had won the lottery and bought a new house.

    Does the past perfect "had won" work in the above versions with the implication that the winning of the lottery is earlier in time than the smiling?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thanks for your responses, VicNicSor and JulianStuart.

    1A. I did smile a lot. I had won the lottery and was going to buy a new house.
    "I had won the lottery" sets up a second thing to happen.
    In 1, you don't buy a house so there's no second action.
    In 2, you have the consequence of the first action, but no second action. I'm waiting for "... but then I lost it at the casino."
    In 3, same as 2.
    In 4, you have a second action but the two actions are in order and connected so "had" is unnecessary and adding it is awkward.

    You keep asking this same question over and over with different sentences.

    I wonder how John saw Chris smiling a lot during the last week yet had no idea what was going on. Does he watch him with a telescope?
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the explanation, Myridon.
    I wonder how John saw Chris smiling a lot during the last week yet had no idea what was going on. Does he watch him with a telescope?
    No, he doesn't. John saw Chris on the street but didn't talk to him. :)
     
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