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Hello.

1. She told me that she has moved on.
2. She told me that she had moved on.

The past form of "She tells me that she has moved on." is "She told me that she had moved on."
But since the action of 'moving on' is still ongoing, shouldn't the present perfect be used here?
If both are correct, what is the difference in meaning? Can the second sentence mean both continuing action and completed action?

Also, I've read that the "past perfect expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past."
But why is it necessary in the following sentence to use the past perfect when it is not ambiguous which of the two actions precedes the other:

3. She never saw a bear before she moved to Alaska.
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Hi,

1. She told me that she has moved on.
2. She told me that she had moved on.

The past form of "She tells me that she has moved on." is "She told me that she had moved on."
But since the action of 'moving on' is still ongoing, shouldn't the present perfect be used here?
If both are correct, what is the difference in meaning? Can the second sentence mean both continuing action and completed action?


#1 suggests that the 'effect/result' of moving on is still being felt by her today. Consider 'She told me (five minutes ago) that she is angry'.

#2 does not suggest this.

Also, I've read that the "past perfect expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past."
But why is it necessary in the following sentence to use the past perfect when it is not ambiguous which of the two actions precedes the other:

3. She never saw a bear before she moved to Alaska.


Past Perfect is not necessary here, although you could use it if you want to. Simple Past is fine, as you suggest. The 'before' leaves no ambiguity.

Best wishes, Clive
Thank you very much for your help.
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1. My initial pass through it told me it may be wrong, but Clive is right, it's correct.

I'd say that one would normally expect in the subordinate moved (simple past instead of present perfect), based on tense simplification (Swan).
I have a couple more questions. Can you use specific times with the past perfect?
I understand that normally you don't, but I wonder if you can.

"Unlike the Present Perfect, it is possible to use specific time words or phrases with the Past Perfect. Although this is possible, it is usually not necessary."

EXAMPLE:
She had visited her Japanese relatives once in 1993 before she moved in with them in 1996.


Also about the sentence #3, I'm sure Clive is right (and peeple I talked with concur with him) but I'd like to know where this site is coming from.

"If the Past Perfect action did not happen at a specific time, Past Perfect MUST be used at all times. Compare the two sentences below."

EXAMPLE:
She had never seen a bear before she moved to Alaska. Correct
She never saw a bear before she moved to Alaska. Not Correct

Thanks
Hi,

I have a couple more questions. Can you use specific times with the past perfect?
I understand that normally you don't, but I wonder if you can.

"
Unlike the Present Perfect, it is possible to use specific time words or phrases with the Past Perfect. Although this is possible, it is usually not necessary."

EXAMPLE:
She had visited her Japanese relatives once in 1993 before she moved in with them in 1996.


Yes, OK. But 'once in 1993' sounds like you mean 'not 2/3/4 times in 1993'. I'd punctuate it as 'She had visited her Japanese relatives once, in 1993, before she moved in with them in 1996'.


Also about the sentence #3, I'm sure Clive is right (and peeple I talked with concur with him) but I'd like to know where this site is coming from. Perhaps you might ask them for more details of what they have in mind about this.

"
If the Past Perfect action did not happen at a specific time, Past Perfect MUST be used at all times. Compare the two sentences below."

EXAMPLE:
She had never seen a bear before she moved to Alaska. Correct
She never saw a bear before she moved to Alaska.
Not Correct


Best wishes, Clive


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Thank you so much again for your help.
I don't know what I'd do without this forum. Emotion: wink
Could I borrow your thread for a moment?

She told me that she had moved on.

So "had moved on" means that the action of "moving on" had been completed before another past event. What would this other past event be? Would it the "told" part?

Somewhat similarly, how would you explain a sentence like this?

"She had told me that she had moved on."

I always have a lot of trouble with past perfect tense. In this case, does it mean that both actions of her telling you and her having moved on were past events that had already been completed before ANOTHER past event? So my sentence would not make sense without more information, right? I would need to say something more to place everything in a proper time frame:

"She had told me that she had moved on, but I didn't believe her."

My "not believing her" part was that needed past action that indicated there had been two previous, completed actions that came before, hence the use of past perfect for "had told me" and "had moved on"? Did I get this right? Essentially, you cannot use past perfect where past simple would be more appropriate, am I correct? You must have a context set up where you are discussing two events IN THE PAST?

"I can't remember what I had written" Would this be correct? The answer would be no, right? Because "can't" is in the present, "had written" is a past perfect tense, so where is the second past action that should follow "had written"? Something like "I couldn't remember what I had written" would then be correct, would it not?

Some more,

Even though the only friend I made the entire time was a dog, I was happy.
(I heard it said like that)

But shouldn't it be,

Even though the only friend I had made the entire time was a dog, I was happy.

I have a feeling that this isn't correct. Would it be because the "only friend I had made" makes it a completed action and not contemporaneous with being happy?

Thanks kindly!!! Emotion: big smile
Hi,

Welcome to the Forum.

Could I borrow your thread for a moment? Sure, since it's on the same topic.

She told me that she had moved on.

So "had moved on" means that the action of "moving on" had been completed before another past event. What would this other past event be? Would it the "told" part? Yes. Or some other event.

Somewhat similarly, how would you explain a sentence like this?

"She had told me that she had moved on."

I always have a lot of trouble with past perfect tense. In this case, does it mean that both actions of her telling you and her having moved on were past events that had already been completed before ANOTHER past event? Yes. So my sentence would not make sense without more information, right?Yes. I would need to say something more to place everything in a proper time frame:

"She had told me that she had moved on, but I didn't believe her." A clearer example, although necessarily a bit convoluted, is something like


"I know now that she does not tell the truth. I found out last week that she had not moved on. She had told me (a month ago) that she had moved on (a year ago) ."

My "not believing her" part was that needed past action that indicated there had been two previous, completed actions that came before, hence the use of past perfect for "had told me" and "had moved on"? Did I get this right? Essentially, you cannot use past perfect where past simple would be more appropriate, am I correct? Well, we often have a choice between the two, and we often use simple past where we feel past perfect is not required to make the sequence clear. You must have a context set up where you are discussing two events IN THE PAST? Generally speaking, yes.

"I can't remember what I had written" Would this be correct? The answer would be no, right? Because "can't" is in the present, "had written" is a past perfect tense, so where is the second past action that should follow "had written"? Something like "I couldn't remember what I had written" would then be correct, would it not? Yes. But you might say
"I can't remember what I had written before I got amnesia."

Some more,

Even though the only friend I made the entire time was a dog, I was happy.
(I heard it said like that)
Yes, sounds OK.

But shouldn't it be,


Even though the only friend I had made the entire time was a dog, I was happy.

I have a feeling that this isn't correct. True, sounds odd. Would it be because the "only friend I had made" makes it a completed action and not contemporaneous with being happy? Basically, yes.

Best wishes, Clive
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