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Hi Teachers,

I would appreciate it very much if you would explain why the past perfect , not the present perfect is used in the sentence below:

Quote:

Although this story has a happy ending - at least for me-I had never been as scared as I was that day in junior high school . It happened so many years ago that I had not thought about that terrible day in a very long time until today.

Unquote

As far as I know the present perfect is usually used with until now /today.e.g.I haven't received any letters from them until now/today

Thank you in advance
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Really what the past perfect says here is that thinking about it was done a long time ago, and nothing recently.
Present perfect would imply that some thinking might have been done in recent times too.
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MonalisatuanIt happened so many years ago that I had not thought about that terrible day in a very long time until today.
... happened so ... that ... had not thought ... || until (I did think about it) today.
until today implies "until earlier today, when I did think about it".
Compare:
The snowfall seemed so light that it had not occurred to anyone to remove it from the roof until (it occurred to everyone) today -- when the roof caved in.
Even though it is still today, it's quite usual that some of the events of today happened earlier during this same day, and the past tense would then be used to say so.
CJ
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Comments  
MonalisatuanIt happened so many years ago that I had not thought about that terrible day in a very long time until today.
You only use the present perfect when the state is still current. Using "until today" shows the state is no longer current hence past perfect is necessary.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
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Thank you Marius Hancu and Califjim