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Anonymous:
Which of these sentences is correct? Can you please explain how the verbs are related or which tense is being employed? How does "by the time" impact the second verb, or main idea? Thanks!

1) By the time Juan finished remodeling the house, he received a huge paycheck.

2) By the time Juan finished remodeling the house, he had received a huge paycheck.

3) By the time Juan had finished remodeling the house, he had received a huge paycheck.

4) By the time Juan had finished remodeling the house, he received a huge paycheck.
1) By the time Juan finished remodeling the house, he received a huge paycheck.-- No good.

2) By the time Juan finished remodeling the house, he had received a huge paycheck.-- OK

3) By the time Juan had finished remodeling the house, he had received a huge paycheck. -- Only if a 3rd past action in the context has also been related.

4) By the time Juan had finished remodeling the house, he received a huge paycheck.-- No good.

I presume the point is that the paycheck was received before the remodelling was finished; if that is not the case, then all your sentences need recasting. Past perfect is used when two past events are given and the order of precedence is not quite clear or needs to be emphasized. The past perfect is used for the earlier of the two events.
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There is also

By the time Juan [finishes / has finished] remodeling the house, he will [receive / have received] a huge paycheck. [I'd say that 'have received' is more common.]

And its past counterpart

By the time Juan [finished / had finished] remodeling the house, he would [receive / have received] a huge paycheck. [I'd say that 'have received' is more common.]

CJ
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Anonymous:
Thanks for your help! I have one more question though.

If I use a different time clause such as the moment or as soon as, would 'had' still be accurate because I actually want to say he got the check immediately upon completing the job and not at an earlier time?
AnonymousIf I use a different time clause such as the moment or as soon as, would 'had' still be accurate
I think so, but you'd have to give us a sentence or two illustrating exactly what you're talking about.

CJ
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Anonymous:
Mister MicawberPast perfect is used when two past events are given and the order of precedence is not quite clear or needs to be emphasized. The past perfect is used for the earlier of the two events.

Are you suggesting that there is no way I could say this sentence ("By the time Juan finished remodeling the house, he [had] received a huge paycheck.") using receive in the simple past--it has to be past perfect?

How can you construct these thoughts using by the time in simple past tense and to mean that he got the check instantaneously when the job was completed?

  1. Juan finished remodeling the house.

  2. Juan received a huge paycheck.
Are you suggesting that there is no way I could say this sentence ("By the time Juan finished remodeling the house, he [had] received a huge paycheck.") using receive in the simple past--it has to be past perfect?-- Not at all; past perfect is used for clarification. You don't seem to have read my post.

How can you construct these thoughts using by the time in simple past tense and to mean that he got the check instantaneously when the job was completed?

1. Juan finished remodeling the house.
2. Juan received a huge paycheck.

He finished remodelling the house and immediately received a huge paycheck.
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Anonymous:
He finished remodelling the house and immediately received a huge paycheck."
What happened to "by the time"?

I'm actually trying to see how one would construct these sentences to make them one, preceded by the time clause and keeping it in the past because of Mister Micawber's response below:

"1) By the time Juan finished remodeling the house, he received a huge paycheck.-- No good.
2) By the time Juan finished remodeling the house, he had received a huge paycheck.-- OK
3) By the time Juan had finished remodeling the house, he had received a huge paycheck. -- Only if a 3rd past action in the context has also been related.
4) By the time Juan had finished remodeling the house, he received a huge paycheck.-- No good."

You don't seem to have read my post.
???No..., please!

Then use #2, as I suggested in the first place.
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