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Someone asking me why I joined the Red Cross, I reply with:

It's something I've always wanted to be a part of. Or

It's something I had always wanted to be a part of.

Are both useable and mean the same thing?

Thank you.
Comments  
yes, i think you're talking about a reason of fact that is always better to use a present perfect. Past perfect is more frequently used in narration of two or more past events to indicate the action that happened first.
Hello Awence, mind I ask are you a teacher or native speaker? Thanks. Plus, so you're saying both are useable and essentially mean the same thing? Thank you.
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erm..I am a teacher, with experience teaching GCE O'level English and Cambridge ESOl programmes. I would say present perfect is more grammatically correct and contextually apt in spoken English. I'm not a native speaker but I have been using English as a daily medium ever since god knows when....haha
Awence erm..I am a teacher, with experience teaching GCE O'level English and Cambridge ESOl programmes. I would say present perfect is more grammatically correct and contextually apt in spoken English. I'm not a native speaker but I have been using English as a daily medium ever since god knows when....haha
Thanks, so the past perfect is incorrect in this situation? But it is an event that happened before another event, right?
PreciousJones Awence erm..I am a teacher, with experience teaching GCE O'level English and Cambridge ESOl programmes. I would say present perfect is more grammatically correct and contextually apt in spoken English. I'm not a native speaker but I have been using English as a daily medium ever since god knows when....hahaThanks, so the past perfect is incorrect in this situation? But it is an event that happened before another event, right?
I had always wanted to be a part of it before I joined it.

Isn't that considered a situation before another past event?
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yes, you're right, it is an event preceding another event. But, in terms of my understanding so far, when judging the most accurate to use, we always think of the intention of our speech...., in this instance, you merely state a piece of factual information rather than giving an account of a past event. By using past perfect, it suggests that your wish only existed in the past and now you don't wish to become one anymore.

Honestly, this is what I have observed from most of the native speakers. Let's see whether moderators intercede to give a different opinion.
Awenceyes, you're right, it is an event preceding another event. But, in terms of my understanding so far, when judging the most accurate to use, we always think of the intention of our speech...., in this instance, you merely state a piece of factual information rather than giving an account of a past event. By using past perfect, it suggests that your wish only existed in the past and now you don't wish to become one anymore.Honestly, this is what I have observed from most of the native speakers. Let's see whether moderators intercede to give a different opinion.
Ooh, I see what you mean exactly, because it's only a single statement stating a past event that occurred before another event, the present perfect should be used in this case.