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Hi. I have asked a question regarding the sentences one to four in one of the posts and have received one response that seemed not to be the answer that directly answered my question. I hope any of the teachers would answer the question in addition to the two I have added. If I remember it correctly, (I think) Clive told us something to the effect that past perfect should be used in situations to avoid confusion and ambiguity, but judging which situation is leading to confusion and ambiguity, thus requiring the use of past perfect, isn't so obvious to me. Help..

What would be? Please look at the underlined parts.

1.He went home as he was (had been) told.

2. He bought the food item as he was (had been) asked to.

3. He bought the bag of chips as he was (had been) told.

4. The day before he came, she told (had told) him that he needed the car.

5. We are freeing you from those that kept (had kept) you captive.

6. It would have been better if they had eaten the food that they brought (had brought) from the restaurant that they was (had been) at.
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1.He went home as he was told. -- It is obvious that the telling must precede the going
2. He bought the food item as he was asked to. -- as #1
3. He bought the bag of chips as he was told. -- as #1
4. The day before he came, she told him that he needed the car. -- The day before makes the sequence obvious.
5. We are freeing you from those that kept you captive. -- as #1: the captivity obviously preceded the freeing
6. It would have been better if they had eaten the food that they brought from the restaurant that they were at. -- Present perfect is normally not repeated in dependent clauses; also, the logical sequence of events is again obvious.

Past perfect is not 'wrong' in these sentences; it is unnecessary. Its use should be reserved for time confusion ('I hadn't heard the news when he told me') and when the sequence of events is to be stressed ('I had never eaten a pastrami sandwich before I visited New York').
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Thank you for your help. It was great.

You wrote:

6. It would have been better if they had eaten the food that they brought from the restaurant that they were at. -- Present perfect is normally not repeated in dependent clauses; also, the logical sequence of events is again obvious.

Would you consider the part "that they brought form the restaurant that they were at" as two dependent clauses? I think a dependent clause can't be a sentence on its own. Could it be a sentence on its own? I think it (they?) could.

How about this?

We bought a shirt that we didn't think/hadn't thought about.

Would you say the part "that we didn't/hadn't thought about" is a dependent clause?

Would you say the sentence has a clear showing of its sequence and thus no need to make the verb past perfect?

Would you say the same for these too?

He gave me what I asked/had asked for.

He thanked all the people who came/had come there.

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Would you consider the part "that they brought form the restaurant that they were at" as two dependent clauses? -- Yes. I think a dependent clause can't be a sentence on its own.-- Yes. Could it be a sentence on its own? -- No.

We bought a shirt that we didn't think/hadn't thought about. Would you say the part "that we didn't/hadn't thought about" is a dependent clause? -- Yes
Would you say the sentence has a clear showing of its sequence and thus no need to make the verb past perfect? - No; past perfect is required if the clause refers to previous consideration of the purchase.
He gave me what I asked/had asked for. He thanked all the people who came/had come there. Would you say the same for these too? -- No; the first does not require the past perfect; the second holds different meanings with each verb form.
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