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Do subordinate clauses influence the tense of the main clause? Yes, right?

Before I went to school, I had eaten a big breakfast.

I didn't have any money because I had lost my wallet.

But what happens when we have a greater context to consider? Does the greater context have more influence over the tense of the main clause than the subordinate clause has influence?

1a. I got up at 7am. Before I went to school, I ate/had eaten a big breakfast.

(I can't think of a context to include with my sentence about the wallet)

Same question?

2a. I arrived at school at 8am. Before I went to school, I ate/had eaten a big breakfast.

Thanks
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Comments  
English 1b3Do subordinate clauses influence the tense of the main clause? Yes, right?

Before I went to school, I had eaten a big breakfast.

I didn't have any money because I had lost my wallet.

Hi again English 1b3, I've come over here to comment because of your invitation at the other thread, but I'm not sure that my reply will be very helpful (your questions are often too advanced for me!). I would say:

"I ate a big breakfast."

"Before I went to school, I ate a big breakfast." (I would not use "had eaten" here.)

"I didn't have any money."

"I didn't have any money because I had lost my wallet."

So, the tenses remain the same. I think I may be missing your point.
English 1b3
1a. I got up at 7am. Before I went to school, I ate/had eaten a big breakfast.I would say:

"I got up at 7 am. Before I went to school, I ate a big breakfast."

English 1b3
2a. I arrived at school at 8am. Before I went to school, I ate/had eaten a big breakfast.This does not seem quite right to me. I think I'd try to reword it. There are lots of ways to do this, such as:

"I arrived at school at 8 am. Earlier, at home, I had eaten a big breakfast."

Thanks for your reply, Mr Wordy. My question is quite hard to explain, unfortunately. Your answers sort of indirectly answered my question, but I think if you were to understand what I was asking a little better, we could be moving forward a wee bit faster.

My first two sentences were there to basically show that I believe the time something happens in the subordinate clause influences the tense used in the main clause and vice versa.

Further, my third and fourth sentences show that I believe the greater context (I got up 7am; I arrived at school at 8am) also has influence over the tense of the verb in the main clause (I ate/had eaten a big breakfast):

If the greater context is "I got up at 7am," then the eating happened after. But if the context is "I arrived at school at 8am," then the eating happened before. Thus, I believe the past perfect is required when the greater context is "I arrived at school at 8am."

Once I explained this relationship between the main clause, subordinate clause and greater context, I then expected you to tell me that my thinking above was wrong (that the subordinate clause or greater clause does not influence the text of the main clause) or I hoped that you could tell me how I choose the tense of the main clause when sentences such as these above, where there is a complex, temporal relationship, exist.

I'm sorry if this makes things no clearer, and if I have wasted your time.
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Maybe I see where you're going, but I think it may be a cul-de-sac.

When the order of 2 past events is clearly evident, past perfect is not required.The 'greater context' here is superfluous, since the sequence of the 2 events is obvious from both perspectives

1a-- I got up at 7am. Before I went to school, I ate a big breakfast.
2a-- I arrived at school at 8am. Before I went to school, I ate a big breakfast.

If we obfuscate the sequence:

1b-- I got up at 7am. When I went to school, I had eaten a big breakfast.
2b-- I arrived at school at 8am. When I went to school, I had eaten a big breakfast.

Well, that experiment seems to show that the contextual perspective still doesn't change verb form choice. The perspective does not seem to expand beyond the 2 events.

One more try:

3a--When I got up at 7am, I ate a big breakfast.

3b-- When I arrived at school at 8am. I had eaten a big breakfast.

I think this confirms what I suggested for 1b & 2b, doesn't it?
I think I need to read this a second time. I understand what you're saying, but whether or not I understand how your example sentences prove your point is another thing.
Mister Micawber
Well, that experiment seems to show that the contextual perspective still doesn't change verb form choice. The perspective does not seem to expand beyond the 2 events.


Where you lost me... What/how is this experiment showing this?
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Because the 'greater context' as you call it only affects the tense when it is no longer 'greater'. I am not fit to explore this topic any further than that.
"That evening I studied hard for the exam, so next day I knew all the answers."

"That day we had an exam; I had studied hard the previous evening, so I knew all the answers."

??
So the answer is that I needn't consider the greater context when deciding the tense of the main verb? So these are right? That is, "I got up at 7am" doesn't affect the tense of the following clause?

1a-- I got up at 7am. Before I went to school, I ate a big breakfast.

2a-- I arrived at school at 8am. Before I went to school, I ate a big breakfast.
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