WANG
Another problem concerning tense... "Before she had anchored, the men from the boats had climbed on board and the decks were soon covered with colorful rugs." "Many of the tourists on board had begun bargaining with the tradesmen, but I decided not to buy anything until I had disembarked." Shouldn't it be "Before she anchored" and "until I disembarked" ???
Sep 18, 2012 8:23 AM
Answers · 2
Hello. The tense is right. Past perfect is used because the action has not yet been accomplished. If you say: "Before she anchored, the men climbed/had climbed on board...", you are expressing that "she anchored" at a specific time and that before it, something happened (the men climbed). If you say "Before she had anchored", it means that we don't know the specific time when she anchored, not even if she finally anchored, the only thing we know is that "the men climbed on board" when "she had not yet anchored". The second sentence is similar. When he/she describes the scene of tourists bargaining on board, he/she has not yet disembarked (and we don't even know if it will happen or not). Once again we use past perfect because the action has not yet been accomplished, so, we don't know WHEN it will happen and WHETHER it will happen.
September 18, 2012
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