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Would you check my sentences about the past perfect tense?

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,

Would you correct my sentences if needed?
<1> I realized that we had met before. 
<2> When I arrived at the party, Lucy had already gone home.
<3> I told her that I had already finished lunch.
<4> By noon yesterday I had finished my work.
<5> When I arrived there, Tom had already left.
<6> My daughter told me that she had already done her homework.
<7> When I arrived at the station, the last train had already left.
<8> When the policeman came/arrived, the thief had already run away.
<9> When I got/arrived/came home, my children had already gone to bed.
<10> By the end of last month he had solved all (of) the problems.
<11> I realized that I had made a big mistake.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the help, johnnyG. I'd appreciate it if you would tell me in which case you can use the past tense instead of the past perfect.
 
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The meaning will probably change, but how about giving some examples to show the past/past perfect difference(s) you're interested in?
 

hirashin

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According to my favorite grammar book by a British publisher,
both could be used in each case below.
1a) After he had finished his exams he went to Paris for a month.
1b) After he finished his exams he went to Paris for a month.
2a) She didn't feel the same after her dog had died.
2b) She didn't feel the same after her dog died.
3a) As soon as I had put the phone down it rang again.
3b) As soon as I put the phone down it rang again.

But the book also says that (b) in each set below could not be used.
4a) When I had opened the windows I sat down and had a cup of tea.
4b) When I opened the windows I sat down and had a cup of tea.
5a) When I had written my letters I did some gardening.
5b) When I wrote my letters I did some gardening.

Is it that in the clause following the conjunction "after", you can use the past tense in place of the past perfect tense?
 
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In the first group (1-3), I'd say the (b) versions are easier to say--they sound more conversational, and are likely what you'd overhear.

It seems that it's not just after vs. when that is involved here. (and as soon as) After implies something is sequential--there is A, and then there is B; using when could imply sequentiality, or not. Using when, things could be happening simultaneously, or, when could be substituting for after.

>> Note that the past perfect implies completion of an action, and that when allows for what is happening in the A and B parts of a sentence to be simultaneous, or almost so.

Let's try your examples with some changes:

1a) When he'd finished his exams he went to Paris for a month.
1b) When he finished his exams he went to Paris for a month.
2a) She didn't feel the same when her dog had died.
2b) She didn't feel the same when her dog died.
2a') When her dog had died she didn't feel the same.
2b') When her dog died she didn't feel the same.
3a) When I had put the phone down it rang again.
3b) When I put the phone down it rang again.

The 1a-1b pair seem okay, but I'd prefer the (b) version. Note that "exams" being finished is a discrete instance--you have the exams, they're done, and that's the end of it.

For the 2a, 2b, 2a', 2b' series, the dog's death is an aspect thing--one's perspective. How you feel up to the point that the dog died, and how you feel, and continue to feel, after that.

Again, I prefer the (b) versions. You might add "...as when her cat died," for a little more context:

*2a) She didn't feel the same when her dog had died as when her cat died.
2b) She didn't feel the same when her dog died as when her cat died.
*2a') When her dog had died she didn't feel the same as when her cat died.
2b') When her dog died she didn't feel the same as when her cat died.

The (a) and (a') versions seem wrong there.

In these:

4a) When I had opened the windows I sat down and had a cup of tea.
4b) When I opened the windows I sat down and had a cup of tea.
5a) When I had written my letters I did some gardening.
5b) When I wrote my letters I did some gardening.

...when is not used because you're referring to things that cannot happen at the same time. How cab you open windows while sitting down to have a cup of tea? How can you write letters and garden at the same time?



Hope this helps!
 
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