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About 200 noisy demonstrators - some of whom carried a coffin draped with a US flag - were gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters.

Asked if she had been embarrassed by the protests which have followed her around on her two-day visit, Ms Rice said she respected the demonstrators' right to protest.

"Democracy is the only system that allows people to be heard and be heard peacefully," she said.

"When there are more places where people's voices can be heard peacefully, especially in the Middle East, we are all going to be better off."

Saddam overthrow 'right'

Ms Rice said her meeting with local Muslim leaders had been "stimulating and candid".




She said they had discussed how conflicts could be better resolved through "politics and debate than through conflict and violence". -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

She said they had discussed how conflicts could be better resolved ........

Is it a must to use the past perfect in this context?

Wouldn't you write the simple past?

She said they discussed how conflicts could be better resolved ........... [ Is this flawed?]
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Comments  
I agree that past perfect is unnecessary. Ms Rice uses it to stress that the talks are completed.
I wonder whether Clive would toe the line with Mr. Micawber. Very recently Clive made some interesting comments on the use of past perfect tense.

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Hi,

Yes, I agree with MrM.

We all talk so much about the Past Perfect on this Forum that I'm not sure what particular comments you are thinking of. Was there something which seemed to suggest a different idea about this query?

Best wishes, Clive
Nothing special, Clive. I thought you would insist that it has to be the past perfect in the given sentence.
Hi,

I see. No, the sequence of events seems clear to me in this case, withuout Past Perfect.

Clive
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Hi Forum English Experts,

This is the posted sentence:

About 200 noisy demonstrators - some of whom carried a coffin draped with a US flag - were gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters.

I have a few questions about the clause "some of whom carried a coffin draped with a US flag". Should a dash be used in the sentence or simpy commas? What about the following alternatives to express the same idea: Would any of them be correct?

1) "About 200 noisy demonstrators, some carrying a coffin draped with a US flag , were gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters. ( is it "were" or "had " gathered?, In my mind, it should be "had". Is it right?

2) About 200 noisy demonstrators, among whom; some were carrying a coffin draped with a US flag , had gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters.

Thanks

Englishmind
Hi,

About 200 noisy demonstrators - some of whom carried a coffin draped with a US flag - were gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters.

I have a few questions about the clause "some of whom carried a coffin draped with a US flag". Should a dash be used in the sentence or simpy commas? Both are possible. Dashes make it more of an interjection, more parrenthetical. I don't like dashes, I prefer to use commas myself. It's not unusual enough to require dashes, to my mind.

what about the following alternatives to express the same idea: Would any of them be correct?

1) "About 200 noisy demonstrators, some carrying a coffin draped with a US flag , were gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters. Fine

( is it "were" or "had " gathered?, In my mind, it should be "had". Is it right? Both are OK

2) About 200 noisy demonstrators, among whom; some were carrying a coffin draped with a US flag , had gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters. No, no, no. There's a $100 fine for misuse of a semi-colon.

Best wishes, Clive
AnonymousHi Forum English Experts,

This is the posted sentence:

About 200 noisy demonstrators - some of whom carried a coffin draped with a US flag - were gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters.

I have a few questions about the clause "some of whom carried a coffin draped with a US flag". Should a dash be used in the sentence or simpy commas? What about the following alternatives to express the same idea: Would any of them be correct?

1) "About 200 noisy demonstrators, some carrying a coffin draped with a US flag , were gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters. ( is it "were" or "had " gathered?, In my mind, it should be "had". Is it right?

2) About 200 noisy demonstrators, among whom; some were carrying a coffin draped with a US flag , had gathered outside the town hall where Ms Rice and Mr Straw spoke to reporters.

Thanks

Englishmind

Hi expert anonymous!!

I don't agree with the sentence (2), I don't know why to replace "were" by "had" - gathered here means "came togheter" - "demonstrators were gathered (came togheter) outside".

In my opinion it's a perfect sentence.
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