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Hello everybody. This is my first question here, on this wonderful community.

Is the following sentence correct?
"In the last 200 years we've released more carbon dioxide into the air then had been released in the prior hundred million years."

While I understand the first part requires Present Perfect, I am not so sure that the second part (something which happened in a time period before another time period) requirest Past Pefect.
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CristianC"In the last 200 years we've released more carbon dioxide into the air then had been released in the prior hundred million years."

While I understand the first part requires Present Perfect, I am not so sure that the second part (something which happened in a time period before another time period) requirest Past Pefect.
The perfect tenses are usually optional, as I believe they are here.
When context (adverbs of time, etc.) makes the sequence of events clear, you may use simple past, if you so choose.
Your sentence is perfectly fine, and probably the natural choice,
but it would be okay in this case to use "we released" and "than was released."

I would add that if you use present perfect for the first one,
it would not be natural to use it for the second one as well.
However, you could use present perfect followed by simple past, but it would not be ideal.

We released more this/last year than was released before.
We released more this/last year than has [ever] been released before.

We released more this/last year than had been released before.
We have released more this year than was released before.

We have released more this year than had been released before.
We have released more this year than has ever been released before.

We have released more this year than has been released before.

Welcome to English Forums, Cristian. Thanks for joining us!

Best regards, - A.
I see. Thanks a lot. I wasn't expecting so many correct choices. To be honest, I was thinking whether to use Present perfect with Past perfect or Present perfect with simple past. I didn't know both can be correct.

Present perfect on both sounds wrong to me too, even your example with "ever" highlighted, which I don't understand and I'll stay away from.
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As I suggested, the sentence you proposed is the best choice.

It's not always clear what people mean by "correct."

To me, if it's incorrect, it cannot be used.
To someone else, it might simply mean that it's a poor choice.

Sometimes a usage is okay for casual speech but not for formal writing.
CristianC I am not so sure that the second part . . . . requirest Past Pefect.
In the last 200 years we've released more carbon dioxide into the air then had been released in the prior hundred million years.

It doesn't, but it's the best choice.

Your thread title, "Present perfect after past perfect," could be misleading.
While in time sequence, past comes before present, in you sentence order it's the other way around.
AvagniThe perfect tenses are usually optional, as I believe they are here.

When context (adverbs of time, etc.) makes the sequence of events clear, you may use simple past, if you so choose.

As someone whose grasp on tenses has always been weak, I wonder whether this simplification is a relatively modern (and also more American than British) tendency. My favourite choices are the original poster's and the one with the Present Perfect tense in both clauses.

Anton

Hi Anton,
I think students are encouraged to stick with one formula.
Are you speaking of a "tendency" in current speech or in current teaching practices?
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AvangiHi Anton,I think students are encouraged to stick with one formula.Are you speaking of a "tendency" in current speech or in current teaching practices?
Naturally, I am interested in the practiced language, spoken and written, in the first place.

As for the teaching, its final purpose is to get one to know the language in its most current state, and this "sticking to one formula" is practiced probably in the hope that, starting from some level, people will learn all the subtleties themselves, from direct experience, like children do, and ultimately replace rough rules with true understanding.

It is also so much easier to teach these (relatively) simple and strict rules, even if at the expense of missing "fine detail". The extent of necessary simplification if inversely proportional to both the teacher's talent and the student's willingness to accept new knowledge.

I myself often cannot explain and idea or win an argument even when deep at my heart I know that I am right. This is where the teacher's talent enters.

Anton
CristianCIs the following sentence correct?
"In the last 200 years we've released more carbon dioxide into the air than had has been released in the prior last hundred million years."

While I understand the first part requires Present Perfect, I am not so sure that the second part (something which happened in a time period before another time period) requirest Past Pefect.
The problem with this sentence is that it's comparing something that has been happening right up to now with something that had been happening up to a past point in time (i.e. a time before the present time). The end dates of the comparison are different, which we assume is not what the writer intended.

The first section, which uses present perfect '...we've released...', compares the amount of carbon dioxide released in the last 200 years right up to now with the amount released in a hundred million years up an unspecified point in past time. It even states 'prior', but prior to when - the year 1990, the end of the last century, who knows? That's why the two sections are incompatible. Changing the tense to present perfect and replacing 'prior' with 'last' in the comparative clause fixes the problem.

BillJ
BillJup an unspecified point in past time. It even states 'prior', but prior to when - the year 2000, the end of the last century, who knows?
This seems idiomatic to me. We mean "prior to the previously described period."
Do you also have a problem using "before" in this way?

I made a thousand dollars last week but I only made a hundred the week before/prior.
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