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Hi all,

Please consider the following:

"After I graduated, I had not seen her for awhile. When we caught up, I asked her what she had been doing. Then she brought me here."

I remember the past perfect tense "had not seen" should be used to denote an event happened before another event at the past which denoted by simple past tense "graudated". But in the above example, simple past tense actually happened before past perfect tense event. Is it grammatically correct? If so please advise me on why it is formed in such a way.

Thank you.

Regard
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ConscientiousStudent1) After I graduated, I had not seen her for awhile. When we caught up, I asked her how has she been doing.
2)1) After I had graduated, I did not see her for awhile. When we caught up, I asked her how has she been doing.The second sentence is the same in both, and it should be this:

When we caught up, I asked her how she had been doing.

You have an indirect question about something before the time you caught up, so you need the word order for an indirect question. Secondly, the main verb is past (asked) so the time period previous to that would be shown with the past perfect had ....
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As for the first sentence, there is not a lot of difference between the two versions. It's just a difference of the reference time that the author has in mind. In the first version of the first sentence the reference time is after graduating and after being absent from her for a while. In the second version, the reference point seems to be more like the time of being absent from her.

CJ

Comments  
ConscientiousStudentI remember the past perfect tense "had not seen" should be used to denote an event happened before another event at in the past
Yes. That is one of the uses of the past perfect, and the most common one.

In the case at hand, the clauses in the past perfect are all to be interpreted from the point of view of the clause "when we caught up".

Chronologically we have the graduation, absence, then catching up. The events in normal order can all go in the past. I graduated, then we caught up, and I asked her about the past. From the point of view of the time of catching up, however, "I had not seen her" and "She had been doing things".

1. I graduated
2. I not seeing her -- she doing things
3. we caught up
4. I asked her (about 2.)

5. present time when the story is being told

The author could have said, "After I graduated, I didn't see her for a while." But then the not seeing her and her doing things might seem to have taken place at different times, whereas in fact they were simultaneous situations. The author has taken the two sentences as descriptive of a single situation, and the use of tenses shows this.

CJ
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Thanks CJ. So in this case, I would like to know is there any difference between:
1) After I graduated, I had not seen her for awhile. When we caught up, I asked her how has she been doing.
2)1) After I had graduated, I did not see her for awhile. When we caught up, I asked her how has she been doing.

Thank you.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.