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The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has died, two days after emergency surgery for a blood clot on his brain.
Lee Jong-wook, 61, was rushed to hospital in Geneva on Saturday. He had been described as "recovering" but on Monday it was announced he had died.

Dr Lee, from South Korea, had worked at the WHO for 23 years and became its head in 2003.

The news came as the 192-nation body convened its annual assembly.

"I am sorry to tell you that Dr Lee Jong-wook, director-general of the WHO, died this morning," Spain's Health Minister Elena Salgado told the opening session of the assembly.

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Is it a must to say he had died in the above?

Would you write he died in the above?

I just want to know the reason for using the past perfect here.
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>He had been described as "recovering" but on Monday it was announced he had died.

Both:
He had been described (the previous description of his state)
he had died (his passing/death)
happened before the announcement.

Past perfect is necessary.

Hi guys,

Lee Jong-wook, 61, was rushed to hospital in Geneva on Saturday. He had been described as "recovering" but on Monday it was announced he had died.

Is it a must to say he had died in the above? I wouldn't say it's a must. With simple past tense, the sequence of events still seems clear.

Would you write he died in the above? Maybe yes, maybe no.

I just want to know the reason for using the past perfect here. The sentence begins with Past Perfect. I think that considerations of style and 'balance' may make the second Past Perfect seem a bit more natural to use. Maybe.

Best wishes, Clive
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Thanks everybody for the reply.

Clive, your recent explanation on the past perfect tense is engraved in my memory.

It was something like the following scenario:

1. It was raining yesterday.

2. I had put the umbrella into my backpack when leaving home.

You insisted it is essential to say the first sentence.

I tried to draw a parallel between the above explanation and the article in question. It is very difficult. I think the problem lies in my standard of English.
«...it was announced he had died»

Isn't it simple sequence of tenses?

Furthermore: first, he died, then it was announced. In the example above we have a reverse order.

The subordinate clause («he had died») must be placed in a tense that would correctly show the time it took place relatively to the action in the main clause (announcing). Since the former happened before the latter, and the main clause is in Past Simple, there's no choice but to use Past Perfect in the subordinate clause.

Wow.
Hi guys,

Past Perfect is often omitted in cases where the sequence is clear. In 'The hospital announced he died', the sequence is very clear.

Best wishes, Clive
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Ok. So, my post is just a reasoning for the use of Past Perfect, though it may be omitted in the considered example.
Hi Ant,

Yes, that's true.

You'll find that non-native speakers often use Past Perfect in places where it could be used but where a native speaker wouldn't. I think you'll just gradually get a 'feeling' for this.

Clive
Does the original example
«He had been described as "recovering" but on Monday it was announced he had died.»
sound a bit awkward to to you?
Would you change it in this way:
«He had been described as "recovering" but on Monday it was announced he died.»?
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