The use of past perfect tense in the following sentence

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IvanPetrov
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The use of past perfect tense in the following sentence

Post by IvanPetrov » Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:23 pm

Hi all,

Could you please suggest whether the sentence highlighted in bold (from E. H. Gombrich's A Little History of the World) is grammatically correct?

“[During the Stone Age,] [s]now lay deep throughout the year, not only on mountain tops, but down in the valleys as well, and glaciers, which were immense in those days, spread far out into the plains. This is why we say that the Stone Age began before the last Ice Age had ended.

Shouldn't it be "the Stone Age HAD BEGAN before the last Ice Age ENDED" — instead of "the Stone Age BEGAN before the last Ice Age HAD ENDED", given that 'had' must be used with a verb that indicates that something takes place prior to something else, in this case 'something else' being the end of the last Ice Age?

Kind regards and thanks a lot for your help!

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Joe
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Re: The use of past perfect tense in the following sentence

Post by Joe » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:07 pm

E. H. Gombrich writes correctly.

https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/ver ... erfect.htm

Note that if you use begin in past perfect it should be "had begun", not "had began".
"We are not wholly bad or good, who live our lives under Milk Wood :-| " — Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood

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IvanPetrov
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Re: The use of past perfect tense in the following sentence

Post by IvanPetrov » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:50 pm

Dear Joe,

Many thanks for your reply. I, however, still don't see how it is correct, given that Gombrich uses past perfect vis-a-vis something that happened AFTER another event in the past, and not before it. But if it is indeed correct, can I kindly ask you to explain how?

Regarding "had began", yes, of course, that was a typo.


Kind regards,

Ivan

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