Regarding the Past Perfect

The following sentence does seem sensible to me upon reading it, although, I confess that I am still wanting in terms of some… understanding. Therefore, I would like to request some aid in deconstructing this sentence.

I know that, in the past perfect form, when two clauses are separated by ‘and’ (or, being enumerated), the past perfect does not apply. e.g.:
’ Then Adelin, a worthy fellow, came in, laid down his hat on seeing me and, coming over to me, said softly… ’

Although, if a past continuous clause is followed by another clause, why should this clause be presented in the past perfect tense? Such as in,
’ I am grateful to you, Albert, for deceiving me: I was waiting for news of your wedding date, and had decided to take down Lotte’s silhouette profile from my wall on that day, with all solemnity, and bury it amidst my other papers. ’

For in a standard past continuous tense such as, ‘The boys had been discoursing for an hour before Edward arrived.’, it is separated by ‘before’ and is therefore apparent. It would, moreover, be apparent if the causes were separated by ‘since, because, etc.’

As a native English speaker, I rarely think about the tenses and so forth. Although, upon deconstructing this sentence, I’ve had much difficulty in truly understanding it.

Thank you for any assistance.

The writer intends to make clear that the decision came before the waiting began.

Hi Baptista,

I am afraid I don’t quite see the point you are making with:

Why on earth should the past perfect intrude here?

In the other two sentences surely the past perfect plays its proper function of indicating earlier time than the past simple. Certainly this doesn’t have to be involved with conjunctions such as ‘before’ or ‘after’ or ‘because’ but can be implied by its very use as in:

I had hoped you were going to help us where the ‘hoping’ precedes the ‘helping’.


Thank you for the thorough reply, Alan.

Please, pardon the abstractness of the former. It was only presented as a pretext to the latter – attempting to elucidate how, during a process of enumeration (in this case, in the past simple), the tense does not change (granted they are all occurring simultaneously). Although, if this selfsame process were to occur from a continous to a past tense (being separated by ‘and’), the tense following would certainly have to be constructed in the ‘past perfect tense’.

Nevertheless, this is a strange and abstract way of perceiving the process and hope that you (or anyone reading this post) will ignore it. Thank you again, you have answered my question well.

Hi Baptista,

The word “continuous” is tricky because it contains two “u’s” instead of one. That’s one of the reasons why using the Firefox spell checker might be a good idea when writing messages on the forum.

Let me know what you think.

TOEIC listening, question-response: Do you know when our new computers will arrive?[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten,

The letter ‘u’ is a wily entity. For it may either be pluralized with an ‘s’ or an apostrophe followed by an s. Nevertheless, it appears that you have failed to achieve either of the two. That’s one of the reasons proofreading might be a good idea when writing messages on the forum.

Let me know what you think.



This is a bit acerbic - you got the spelling wrong with ‘continuous’. People in glass houses or what?


And as it stands, Torsten’s “u’s” are picture-perfect.

Hahaha. Micawber, I need not impress the fine users of this forum. If it will grant you and Torsten satisfaction: indeed, Torsten was in the right. Therefore, suffice it to say, Torsten knows.

Please, help me by showing how to use Past Perfect Tense and Past Perfect Progressive Tense!!!

Thank you.

Tai :? :?