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Dear teachers,

Could you please help me choose correctly between the present perfect and the past perfect in the following context?

Hi, Jack,
I am going to tell you about the terrible thing that happened to me when I was in high school.This thing happened so many years ago that I haven't thought /hadn't thought about it in a long time until today......

As for me, I choose the present perfect, but my teacher said it is past perfect. Iam very confused.

Thank you in advance
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Comments  
I think you'll get mixed responses to this question. Either one can be acceptable, depending on your viewpoint.

I'll defend your teacher's opinion...There are three distinct times: the terrible thing happened, you thought about it, you are telling about it.

In your view, I assume, the thinking and telling are both happening in the present, which is why you chose present perfect.
Thank you Old Man Gordon,

Could you please tell me in an easy way when I must use Present perfect + until and when I must use past perfect + until today.

I know that the past perfect expresses an action which happened before another action or a point of time in the past.So in the sentence I originally posted, there are three distinct times:
"the terrible thing happened" Past
"you thought about it" Past
" you are telling about it." Present

The action " thinking" did not happen before the action "happening", so why do we use the past perfect as you and my teacher said?

Your clarification of this issue is highly appreciated.

Best wishes
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TuongvanI know that the past perfect expresses an action which happened before another action or a point of time in the past.So in the sentence I originally posted, there are three distinct times:
"the terrible thing happened" Past
"you thought about it" Past
" you are telling about it." Present
Your timeline is wrong.
  1. a terrible thing happened
  2. you didn't think about it for some time
  3. at some time earlier today you did think about it
  4. now you are explaining what happened
For number two you should use the past perfect because that state ceased to be the case any longer once you reached number three.

As for when you can use the present perfect, you can only use it when the temporal marker is still current.
Hi Bokeh,
Your explanation is still confusing to me.Idon't think there are four points of time here.There are only three ones :

1) the terrible thing happened
2)I didn't think about it for some time
3) Now I relate it

So terrible thing happened first of all
next I didn't think about it for some time
And last of all Iam telling about the terrible thing

Why Past perfect?
There weren't four temporal markers, there were three. Number 2 on my list is a state that prevailed between one and three, and that is no longer the case. When a state (number 2) is no longer current it is in the past and this is why the past perfect is needed.
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Hi Bokeh,

If the number2 is no longer the case,why not use the simple past, because it doesn't happen before another past action? I am still confused about it.
We use past perfect for number two because it is no longer the case due to a past event (number three). These aren't just a bunch of things that happened in the past, they are interconnected.
Sorry, Bokeh. I am still confused about what you just explained.No.3 is "now I relate the story", which is present, not past.
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