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Is it possible not to use past perfect and past perfect continuous in spoken and written English ever? I mean I think it's quite easy to omit them completely from my speech. For example, "After I had eaten food, I went to School" can easily be changed to "Having eaten food, I went to school." I think the second one sounds advanced.


Can I speak English without using the above mentioned tenses ever?

Will it be foolish to me to omit the tenses from my English speaking?

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How would you say this without using the past perfect?

It had been raining for three hours when I finally decided to go out.

My suggestion is that you don't try to simplify English. As it is, it has very few verb forms and grammatical devices to convey nuances. Everything it has is certainly needed.

By the way, your examples are not perfect English. You can improve them by dropping food, for instance.

CB

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Let's consider your example. After I had eaten food, I went to School.

Natural English is

eg After I ate, I went to school.

eg I ate and then I went to school.

We usually don't use Past Perfect if the sequence of events is clear with just Past Simple. A word like 'after' or 'then' makes the sequence of events clear.

Native speakers rarely say eg Having eaten food, I went to school. If you say this kind of thing in everyday conversation, people will think your English is a bit odd.


Is it possible not to use past perfect and past perfect continuous in spoken and written English ever? This raises the question "What is your goal in learning English?

Do you want to sound like a native speaker?

Do you want English in order to get a job?

What kind of job? Sweeping floors? President of the company?

Broadly speaking, the Past Perfect tenses are tenses for educated people. I would say that you should let your teacher be the judge of if and when you should study these tenses, and for how long. If you don't have a teacher, a good grammar book will show you a curriculum.

Clive

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Comments  

Thanks a lot, sir!

I am afraid I just gave the example for the sake of example. I know it's unnatural, but if everything is meant to be natural (spoken or done nowadays by the vast majority of native speakers) what is the need of learning grammar? I think grammar enables us to make sentences creatively without having to memorize each and every sentence spoken nowadays by native speakers. If I always try to be natural, I think I will become a robot, having its algorithm designed to say only memorized phrases. I think creativity is what makes us different from computers and robots because these things can only say things injected into them by human beings.

Sir, I want to be highly creative; I never want to Speak English like the vast majority of native speakers do, neither do I want to write like them: The majority of today's English speakers do not spell words correctly. Does that mean I will not spell words correctly?

Of course, natural is what is done and is expected to be done. In this sense, I think it is unnatural to Speak grammatically or spell words correctly while chatting, commenting or posting anything on social media.

I don't want to be natural; I want to be creative.

Sir, I intend to become a lecturer in English literature or a journalist on BBC. I am also a poet.

Sir, I am a native speaker of 3 World's top languages. What I have experienced is that the vast majority of native speakers don't speak their languages well. I suppose it has more to do with how educated one is, or how much knowledge one has on communication skills than it has to do with how native one is.

Of course, I don't want to sound like the vast majority of native speakers. I want to sound like a highly educated native speaker like BBC's top journalists.

Of course, I don't want to Speak advanced English with a sweeper. That would be boastful of me.

Sir, I have learned the correct pronunciation of British English in order to be like that.

Kindly recommend other strategies to become a highly advanced speaker of English!

Would you suggest I omit the use of past perfect and past continuous while speaking with highly educated people?

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.

Would you suggest I omit the use of past perfect and past continuous while speaking with highly educated people? No, no, no! As you suggested yourself, that would be foolish.

Clive

Thanks for answering! Technically, I am afraid the sentence you have mentioned sounds misleading to me. I think one will never need to say such sentence. It sounds to me that it took me three hours to decide that I should finally go out. Grammatically speaking, I think, although I am not as knowledgeable as you are, the mentioned sentence can have 'before' instead of 'when' so that the meaning becomes clear.

The sentence can be avoided and replaced with other sentences as you know, sir:

1. Having been waiting inside my room because of three hours of nonstop rain, I finally decided to go out.

2. The rain being for there hours, I finally decided to go out. (Please inform me if this sentence is grammatically wrong)

3. Being stuck inside my house owing to three hours of rain, I finally decided to go out. ( I think grammar permits us to replace when with participle)

4. Three hours of rain stopping, I finally decided to go out.

5. Having had to wait for three hours of rain to end, I finally decided to go out.

There are a lot of ways a sentence can be avoided as you know, sir. I have just given examples using participle.


Thanks again. I have now understood that I should not intentionally omit past perfect and past continuous from my speech.

P.S. talking of naturalism, the vast of majority of native English speakers barely use past perfect continuous and past perfect.

Sir, I have just started to learn English; I don't live in India, not a natural English speaking country.

Please pardon me if I have said anything wrong.

Honestly, I am an aspiring poet ( writing in English), and also a blogger; Therefore, I have a propensity to go unnatural since if I go natural, my poems would sound copied from other writings. I want to say something new in creative language. Sir, as you know poems can't be written in simplified language. If written using simplified language, it will become a story or statement. I always tend to be unnatural; I am endeavouring to inject humour and figurative language into speaking.

Thanks again, sir.

Sorry for the typing mistake! I live in India. Although recognized as an English speaking country, it speaks very unnatural English. Maybe, that's the reason my English sounds unnatural to native ears. However, I have been trying to watch as many as educated native speakers as possible to sound natural.
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