Pst Perfect Tense

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

Moderator: Alan

Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:38 pm
Status: Other

Pst Perfect Tense

Post by Nerve » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:49 pm

We use the Past Perfect tense to emphasize that an action in the past finished before another action in the past started. With that in mind, why are "entered" and "retired", in the following sentences, not in Past Perfect tense? {eg "had entered" "had retired"}

1} So, I closed the door as soon as I entered the house.
(entered the house → close the door)

2} He started playing tennis after he retired and he won many senior tournament titles.
{retire → start playing tennis → win}

Why are "entered" and "retired" not using Past Perfect {"had+verb"} They happen after other actions?

User avatar
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
Posts: 12886
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Status: English Teacher
Location: Japan

Re: Pst Perfect Tense

Post by Alan » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:44 am

Although technically correct, in practice the past perfect is frequently replaced by the past simple where common sense is sufficient to determine the order of events, and particularly in subordinate clauses.