He returned home before it had got dark.

I’d appreciate it if someone would answer my question. Thanks in advance.

What’s the difference between A and B?

A: He returned home before it got dark.

B: He returned home before it had got dark.

Is B wrong?
I think Perfect (Present Perfect / Past Perfect —)in a subordinate clause means that the whole process of some event or action is just completed.

Use of B would indicate that something else took place (after he got home) in the sequence of events.

Use of B would indicate that something else took place (after he got home) in the sequence of events.
AmE - that would be ‘it had gotten…’

Thank you Beeesneees, but I can’t understand so clearly.

I think A indicates just the sequence of events, and is much the same as the sentence: after he returned, it got dark. – Am I correct?

But I think B indicates more than just the sequence of events. I think it means it hadn’t gotten dark before he ruturned home, or that it didn’t get dark until he had returned home, I think. Am I correct?
I think B means in the 2 evets (his getting home and it getting dark), his not yet completely getting home or it not yet completely getting dark. Am I right?

Beeesneees,
A: He returned home without meeting me before it got dark.
B: He returned home without meeting me after it had got dark.
Please correct the above.
Thanks.

They both mean that it was still light when he got home.

A: He returned home, without meeting me, before it got dark.
B: He returned home, without meeting me, after it had got dark.

---Thank you Beeesneees, but I’ d like to know the difference, instead of what they have in common.

I think the following could help (I’m afraid I can’t provide the link):

““The Nazi party first met in 1921. The nightmare had begun.”
Obviously, one could just use simple past, so what does PastP add?
Clearly, the idea is not that the nightmare began before 1921. Instead, the nightmare began before whatever is going to be discussed by the writer in the text that will follow. The PastP is used to set the scene, to give some background. What follows would be mainly written in simple past.
Tom met Mary in 1960. The happiest period of their life had begun. They were married in 1961. They bought a house in 1962.”
–Applied to your example, maybe it was vital for him to reach home before dark (given the situation on the streets, etc)

–I don’t know your explanation works, because PastP in my example is used in a before clause, but I agree with you in that you say maybe it was vital for him to reach home before dark. Maybe it’s also a psychological matter. Thank you.

I agree that my examples don’t answer your question—they just help you have a different look at the combination of Past Simple and Past Perf. Closer to the point (you may have read that on this very forum):

“Before we had finished our meal he ordered us back to work. Before we had walked 10 miles he complained of sore feet. Before the storm had ended but after the worst was over, the captain radioed for help.
The Past Perfect here doesn’t show (as it usually does) that an event took place earlier in the past than another one but it emphasizes the notion of completeness. It is only like that with ‘before’.
More to the point, before an action in Past Perfect is complete something else happens that may or may not prevent the Past Perfect action from coming to an end. By the way, I’ve just found an explanation of this exceptional Past Perfect usage in A Practical English Grammar by Thomson and Martinet (Fourth edition, p. 177.) and it says that "in till/until + Past Perfect + simple past combinations the simple past action may precede the past perfect action; and in before + past perfect + simple past combinations the simple past action will always precede the past perfect action.”

— Thank you very much. I understand your idea very much.

According to A Practical English Grammar by Thomson and Martinet, I think, sentence B can be paraphrased to the one: It didn’t get dark until he had returned home, can’t it?

If you mean the original sentence B, no, it cannot. They do not mean the same thing.

Thank you.

–I have one more thing to ask. You said they do not mean the same thing.
Do you mean both the situations is the same, but what the author is trying to say is different in that in the original sentence B the focus is on his returning home, while in the paraphrased version it is on it not having gotten dark?

No, I mean :
It didn’t get dark until he had returned home
does not mean the same thing as
He returned home before it had got dark
because you have not used the same tense.

It didn’t get dark before he returned home
means the same as
He returned home before it got dark.

— I see. Thank you Beeesneees.