+0
Archaeological excavations at Alacahöyük have shown that the people of that part of Cappadocia had reached a high level of civilization in the third millenium B.C.

I don't understand why The Past Perfect Tense is used here. I think The Simple Past Tense would be correct as there is a past point of time (in the third millenium B.C.). Is this a mistake or am I mistaken? any other mistake in the sentence?
Comments  
KilimanjaroArchaeological excavations at Alacahöyük have shown that the people of that part of Cappadocia had reached a high level of civilization in the third millenium B.C.

I don't understand why The Past Perfect Tense is used here. I think The Simple Past Tense would be correct as there is a past point of time (in the third millenium B.C.). Is this a mistake or am I mistaken? any other mistake in the sentence?

It's often used to place a point in the past after which something changed. Or, it can be used just to show that a high-point had been reached. The past perfect is often used in such cases where the period referred to is non-specific.
Hi,
I would say that "had reached" is ok if it is clear form the context that there is a fixed point in the past and that you are referring to something that happened before that point. So, people had reached a high level of civilization... before what, before what point in the past? If it is clear, you can use the past perfect if you want. If there's no context that tells you about that point in time, then you can only use the simple past, I think. The simple past would be ok in any case, as you see.

Just my opinion... Emotion: smile
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
The more explicit meaning and what I'd use:

had reached a high level of civilization by the third millenium B.C.

if you want to mean that that kind of civilization was reached before a certain moment in the third millenium B.C.

If you don't want to mean before, simple past is of course OK.
Marius HancuThe more explicit meaning and what I'd use:

had reached a high level of civilization by the third millenium B.C.

if you want to mean that that kind of civilization was reached before a certain moment in the third millenium B.C.

If you don't want to mean before, simple past is of course OK.
Hi Marius Hancu,

Sorry but I don't really get what you mean by 'bofore'. I mean I know what before means but I don't really understand the difference between the use of past perfect and past tense in this example.

The people of Cappodocia had reached a high level of civilization by the third millenium B.C.
The people of Cappodocia reached a high level of civilization in the third millenium B.C

Don't they mean the same thing? That the people of Cappodocia were highly civilized in the third millenium B.C..

Thank you in advance.

Best wishes,

PBF
No, they don't mean the same.

by 2732 BC: before 2732 BC
in 2732 BC: during 2732 BC

in the 3rd millenium: during the 3rd millenium, at a time during the 3rd millenium

had reached: they (had) reached it (already) before a time in the 3rd millenium
reached: they reached it during the 3rd millenium, at a time during the 3rd millenium
Try out our live chat room.
Archaeological excavations at Alacahöyük have shown that the people of that part of Cappadocia had reached a high level of civilization in the third millenium B.C.

Like Marius, I would change in to by. Otherwise, I see no point in using the past perfect.

Excavations [show / have shown] that those people reached a high level of civilization in the third millennium.
Excavations [show / have shown] that those people had (already) reached a high level of civilization by the third millennium.

CJ
Isn't it perspective of the reader? Archaeological excavations at Alacahöyük showed that the people of that part of Cappadocia reached a high level of civilization in the third millenium B.C.
This suggests the showing all happened in the past AND that the reader is not considering them now. Some reader in the past might have considered it, but none is today.

:-)