1. marcusl
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    marcusl Member

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    After he had done this, he did that

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by marcusl, Nov 7, 2009.

    Instead of writing:

    "After he had done this, he did that."

    Is it acceptable to go:

    "After he did this, he did that."

    That sentence sounds reasonable. However, I don't understand why. Since I'm claiming that he had already done "this", why isn't the "had" necessary? I could use some explanation for this. Thanks so much.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    can't answer it generally, like that... give us some real examples, in context, and we can give you valid advice...
     
  3. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    If it's the same person why not, "After doing this, he did that"?

    Instead of

    After she took three long strides, the bat woman leaped into the air and flapped her massive wings.

    I don't see a problem with either one.


    After he pounded on the door for five minutes, he gave up.

    In most cases, if it is the same person in both clauses, I use the "After doing this, he did that" structure.
     
  4. Mister Micawber
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    Mister Micawber Member

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    Yes, generally, if the order of past events is clear (as it is here made clear by 'after'), there is no call for the past perfect. Occasionally it is used for emphasis, and to make clear that the earlier event was completed before the onset of the subsequent event.
     
  5. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    As I see it, "after" and "had" serve the same purpose in that sentence, (to explain "this" happened before "that") so the "had" is redundant and that's why you can omit it. You'd only have a problem (maybe) if you wrote:

    "He did this. He did that."

    That could be potentially confusing, but even then, events are generally assumed to be sequential unless we're told otherwise. In fact, I usually write that way. . .
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Maia is correct in that you have given only a generic example of two different syntax constructions without the context that would validate or invalidate the use of either one or the other.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    grazie, wrey!... seems a waste of time to speculate, without context...

    but starting the sentence with 'after' isn't usually a good idea, in any circumstance, imo...
     

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