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The large house in a plush district of Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, that was once his home is now his prison.

Dr Khan has been confined to house arrest since his confession in February 2004 that, as the man who had helped deliver the nuclear bomb to his native Pakistan, he had gone on to transfer nuclear secrets and technology to an array of countries around the world.

Next to the main building sits a guesthouse in which Dr Khan used to entertain his friends and contacts, including many of the Western businessmen who worked closely with him.

Now, the guesthouse is the site of the security detail that monitors Dr Khan's movements and ensures there is no unauthorised contact between him and the outside world.

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His confession took place somewhere in 2004.

He did the real job of making a bomb 10 or more years before the confession.

Could we write today that 'he had helped deliver the nuclear bomb to his native Pakistan' and 'he had gone on to transfer nuclear secrets and technololgy to an array of countries around the world'?

I have difficulty in understanding the necessity of the past perfect tense here.

I would like to hear from you all.
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Hi guys,

5.I got dressed.
6.I had had a shower.


When I read this, the sequence is very obvious to me. First, I had a shower. Second, I got dressed.

Now let's look at Rotter's example.

Yesterday I went to town.

I had bought a bag.

This clearly tells me that firstly you bought a bag, secondly you went to town. Please note that whether or not these are true statements is irrelevant to our discussion. We are discussing only the meaning that is conveyed by these words.

Best wishes, Clive
Clive

Is the following grammatically correct?

Yesterday I went to town.

I had bought a bag.

My understanding was it would be grammatically incorrect to use the past perfect in such contexts. You ought to write the simple past tense.
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Hi again,

Is the following grammatically correct? Yes

Yesterday I went to town.

I had bought a bag. This tells me you bought the bag before this visit to town.


My understanding was it would be grammatically incorrect to use the past perfect in such contexts. You ought to write the simple past tense. No, it's fine as long as the above is the meaning you wish to convey.

The structure of the 'conversation' is this:

You tell me you went to town.

You tell me about something you did earlier, in a way (ie by perfect tense) that tells me it has some importance for the trip to town.

You would typically continue by telling me the nature of this importance. eg The bag was the wrong colour, so the reason for my trip to town was to exchange it.

Best wishes, Clive
[This tells me you bought the bag before this visit to town.]

No, Clive

I want to tell you that I visited the town first.

Afterwards, I bought a bag at a shop in the town.
The example in question seems not very natural.

Try to consider the following:

«When returning from Joe, I was catched by a thief. Thanks God, I had forgotten my wallet at Joe!»

First, I forgot my wallet. Then the thief catched me, but I was empty...

In the above example these actions are expressed in the reverse order. Therefore, Past Perfect is used.
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«I want to tell you that I visited the town first.»

I visited the town. There I bought a bag.

Since the sequence of actions matches that of the sentences, past simple should be used.
Hi Rotter,

Yes, as Ant-22 says, just use Simple Past.

Just say it as you have said it here: I want to tell you that I visited the town first.

Afterwards, I bought a bag at a shop in the town.


Best wishes, Clive
I thank both Ant and Clive for the replies

I have no difficulties in using the simple past tense.
I am trying to learn how to use the past perfect from you all.

Clive, I clearly understand your example of mugging. So the context should be different to use the past perfect.

Not so easy to find a relevant context to write the past perfect, as far as I am concerned.
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Our team lost the match today because the visitors played very well. However, we had won the previous tie nearly 4 weeks ago; so it is one all.

[ Would you approve the use of the past perfect tense in the above? Would you write 'we won' instead of 'we had won'?]
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