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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Present Perfect & Past Simple with until     

Present Perfect & Past Simple with until



Ruwayda37
Egypt

Present Perfect & Past Simple with until
 
Good day fellow teachers, I would like to ask you about the use of until with the past tenses. What is the right way to use until as a conjunction with past simple and past perfect? Is it the past perfect that comes in until clause or the past simple? Thanks.

18 Jun 2017      



Gi2gi
Georgia

Hi, 
 
Let īs take an example
 
"I did not go to bed until I watched my favo(u)rite show"
 
and
 
"I did not go to bed until I had watched my favo(u)rite show".
 
Both sound fine to my non-native ears.
 
The use of past perfect, as the name/aspect implies, puts more emphasis on the fact  that one action had ended, had been accomplished before the other commensed. But that would be splitting hairs, I guess, to rely heavily on this...
 
I would love to hear more insights from the native experts,
 
Bruce, Lynne, Jayho?
 
(Usa, Uk, Australia?) 
 
Cheers,
 
Giorgi 

18 Jun 2017     



Ruwayda37
Egypt

Thank you very much for your reply. But what actually confuses me is that some websites give sentences following the pattern: "I did not go to bed until I had watched my favo(u)rite show" While other websites follow the pattern : "I had not gone to bed until I watched my favo(u)rite show" I am so confused about which pattern to follow. Thanks again.

18 Jun 2017     



yanogator
United States

Probably in the UK, they wouldn īt use the simple past here, but in the US, we definitely would. Giorgi īs excellent sense of the language is spot on here. The past perfect emphasizes the sequence. The simple past in this example puts more emphasis on the activities than on the order in which they were done. Those shows are very important to me, so I watched them before going to bed.
 
I hope this helps.

Bruce 

18 Jun 2017     



Ruwayda37
Egypt

Thanks Bruce. So, according to British grammar, which sentence is right : "I did not go to bed until I had watched my favo(u)rite show" Or: "I hadn īt gone to bed until I watched my favo(u)rite show"?

18 Jun 2017     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

īI did not go to bed until I had watched my favourite show. ī You do need the past perfect in British English.
 

19 Jun 2017     



ldthemagicman
United Kingdom

Ruwayda37,

I agree with Lynne! In the UK, we use the Past Perfect.
 
Lynne and I must both have been up late!
 
Why?
 
"Because, I did not go to bed until I had watched my favourite show".

Les

19 Jun 2017     



redcamarocruiser
United States

Although I am American, I think we need "had watched" because it sounds incomplete to me to leave out the "had".

19 Jun 2017     



Ruwayda37
Egypt

Thanks a lot dear members for all your explicit answers. Have a good day!

19 Jun 2017     



yanogator
United States

Mary, I think it īs because you īre an English teacher. As far as absolute correctness of tenses, you are definitely right, but you have certainly noticed that people in the US frequently use the simple past  when other tenses are called for.
 
Bruce 

19 Jun 2017     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

@Bruce, well, it īs nothing to show off about.  Anyway, let īs have a caption off you - (two posts below this one). 
Thank you. 

19 Jun 2017     

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