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Multiple usage of Past Perfect in a one sentence. How to recognize which action took place first?

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Batal
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Multiple usage of Past Perfect in a one sentence. How to recognize which action took place first?

Post by Batal » Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:45 pm

Hello,

I know that Past Perfect means "earlier past" and is used to clarify which action took place first in chronological order, but what when there are more actions in the past perfect that need to be specifically placed on the timeline? How do I know which action in the past perfect took place first? Here are some examples illustrating my concern:

1. At around one o'clock, the busker had been playing the guitar for hours, but he hadn't earned enough money to buy lunch, so he stopped.

2. When we found him, he had already fallen asleep. He had been waiting for us for too long.

3. When I came to the beach, the lifeguard told me that she had been watching swimmers all morning, but luckily, so far nobody had been in real danger.

Thank you in advance.

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Joe
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Re: Multiple usage of Past Perfect in a one sentence. How to recognize which action took place first?

Post by Joe » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:45 pm

Looks like the answer is in the sentences.
Batal wrote: โ†‘
Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:45 pm
1. At around one o'clock, the busker had been playing the guitar for hours, but he hadn't earned enough money to buy lunch, so he stopped.

At around one o'clock.
Do you think he stopped playing the guitar before playing the guitar?

2. When we found him, he had already fallen asleep. He had been waiting for us for too long.

When we found him.
Do you think he waited and then fell asleep, or fell asleep and then waited?

3. When I came to the beach, the lifeguard told me that she had been watching swimmers all morning, but luckily, so far nobody had been in real danger.

When I came to the beach.
Do you think that nobody had been in any real danger while she was watching or not watching?
"We are not wholly bad or good, who live our lives under Milk Wood :-| " โ€” Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood

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