Author Topic: Helen had sung before she went to work.  (Read 5122 times)

Offline xiemengxing

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Helen had sung before she went to work.
« on: December 21, 2016, 04:55:45 pm »
Hello everyone,

Today I was told the sentence was wrong:
Helen had sung before she went to work.

I am not sure if it is really wrong.
There are two events:
1. had sung
2. went to work

The "had sung" event happened before the second event "went to work"
Isn't it a typical occasion for using "past perfect"?
Though both of the two events can happen in a same time frame, the past time...

Where I am wrong?


Many thanks.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 04:57:41 pm by xiemengxing »

Offline admin

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4035
  • In the heart of Shropshire
    • Lydbury English Centre Ltd
Re: Helen had sung before she went to work.
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2016, 02:39:01 pm »
Normally, in English, if the context makes absolute sense, we would not use the past perfect.

So: She sang before she went to work
She was singing before she went to work
She had been sinning before she went to work

would do fine.
Best wishes,

Duncan

Offline xiemengxing

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Helen had sung before she went to work.
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2016, 04:34:23 pm »
Quote
Normally, in English, if the context makes absolute sense, we would not use the past perfect.
To be honest, I am not too sure about the occasions the sentence refers to. I mean the "absolute sense" occasions.
Would you give me some more examples?
Thanks again.

Offline admin

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4035
  • In the heart of Shropshire
    • Lydbury English Centre Ltd
Re: Helen had sung before she went to work.
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2016, 05:22:46 pm »
Please give me some contexts and I  will do my best to reply.
Best wishes,

Duncan

Offline Darryl

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3017
  • Far North Queensland, Australia
Re: Helen had sung before she went to work.
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2016, 09:47:44 pm »
Had to smile at the last sentence in your first reply Duncan. Typos! What a difference one letter can make!  :D

Offline xiemengxing

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Helen had sung before she went to work.
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2016, 06:14:52 am »
I didn't notice it was not "singing". ;D

Offline admin

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4035
  • In the heart of Shropshire
    • Lydbury English Centre Ltd
Re: Helen had sung before she went to work.
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2016, 04:04:30 pm »
 :)
Best wishes,

Duncan