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"did not go" vs "had not gone"

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,

According to one of my grammar books, both (a) and (b) are correct.
(a) After he had finished his exams he went to Paris for a month.
(b) After he finished his exams he went to Paris for a month.

Then, how about (c) and (d)? Would both be correct?
(c) I had not gone very far before it began to rain.
(d) I did not go very far before it began to rain.

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin from Kyoto, Japan
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, Wonko The Sane.
 

ledojaeger

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Both are the same. Explaining the difference between 'did not' versus 'had not' is very difficult! For example,

A) 'I did not eat breakfast this morning'
B) 'I had not eaten breakfast this morning'

In usage like this, if you want to say that you skipped breakfast this morning, only A) sounds natural. It can stand alone as an idea. If you use B), it sounds like there's more to the story. 'I had not eaten breakfast this morning, so I was really hungry at lunchtime'. That sort of thing.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the useful explanation, ledojaeger.
 
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