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We lived in Ireland for five years
We (live) ________ in Ireland for five years then we (move) _____ to London in 2000.
I think the answer is "lived/ moved" not "had lived / moved" Am I right.Thanks for your consideration.
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Hi,

We lived in Ireland for five years
We (live) __ in Ireland for five years and then we (move) __ to London in 2000.
I think the answer is "lived/ moved" not "had lived / moved" Am I right.Yes.

Clive
The key indicator for using past perfect is this question: Do I have two events involved in the scenarios you are describing? Clearly, that's the case here.

We (live) __ in Ireland for five years then we (move) __ to London in 2000.

Improved:

We had lived in Ireland for five years before we moved to London in 2000.
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Hi,

However, words like 'before' and 'after' usually make the sequence of events very clear. In such cases, simple past is commonly used rather than past perfect.

eg

She turned on the stove before she cooked dinner.

instead of

She had turned on the stove before she cooked dinner.

There are also some other general considerations for use of past perfect such as the writer's possible desire to keep the focus on the later event.

Best wishes, Clive
Hi Clive,

Thanks for your comments. Please allow me to clarify my own question. I've learned that if we have 2 events which took place in the past, the long preceding event should be described in past perfect.

i.e.

I had taken computer science for two semesters before I decided to change major during my second year of college.

Can you comment on this? is the past perfect considered incorrect, or overkilled in your opinion?

It appears to me that whether a sentence should take past perfect is rather loosely open to the interpretation of the readers. Is this a raw statement?
In an attempt to reconfirm my own understanding, I've found this: http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/pastperfect.html

The Past Perfect expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past.

Examples:

  • I had never seen such a beautiful beach before I went to Kauai.

  • I did not have any money because I had lost my wallet.

  • Tony knew Istanbul so well because he had visited the city several times.

  • Had Susan ever studied Thai before she moved to Thailand?

  • She only understood the movie because she had read the book.

  • Kristine had never been to an opera before last night.

  • We were not able to get a hotel room because we had not booked in advance.

  • A: Had you ever visited the U.S. before your trip in 2006?
    B: Yes, I had been to the U.S. once before.
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fireflysaigonWe lived in Ireland for five years
We (live) _ in Ireland for five years then we (move) _ to London in 2000.
I think the answer is "lived/ moved" not "had lived / moved" Am I right.Thanks for your consideration.

You're right because the story is being told in the same order it occurred. If you mentioned the move first, however, you would have something like this:

We moved to London in 2000. (We had lived in Ireland for five years.)

It would not be:

We moved to London in 2000. We lived in Ireland for five years.

That makes it seem that you moved to London first, then lived in Ireland, but that's not what you want to say. People expect you to tell the events of your story in the same order they occurred, so sometimes you need the past perfect to let them know that the order of events is not what they expect.

CJ
Hi,

Please allow me to clarify my own question. I've learned that if we have 2 events which took place in the past, the long preceding event should be described in past perfect. I don't feel that the lengthof the earleir event is a major factor.

i.e.

I had taken computer science for two semesters before I decided to change major during my second year of college.

Can you comment on this? is the past perfect considered incorrect, No, not at all. But do you fimd the ssequence of events unclear if I say ''I took computer science . . . '?

or overkilled in your opinion? One mean's overkill is amnother man's emphasis. It's the wrier's choice.



It appears to me that whether a sentence should take past perfect is rather loosely open to the interpretation of the writer readers. Is this a raw statement? Yes, it is. There re times when it is needed, some of which are explained earlier in this thread.

Would you like to write some more sentences using Past Perfect, for us to comment on?

Best wishes, Clive

Hi Clive,

Thanks for taking the time on my query. I guess what I had in mind when I used "had taken computer science for 2 semesters.." rather than the simple "took" was the deliberate intent to emphasize the duration I had spent time in the course before deciding to change major in the second year. I know simple past would work in everyday conversation. But I didn't expect the contrary when I opted the past perfect. Now I have few more past perfect scenarios for you to comment on. Please let me know if past perfect is an overkill, being incorrect or unnecessay.

Thanks,

The couple next door had argued and gotten physical frequently months prior to the last night's shooting.

He had worked for a couple of restaurants in town as a waiter before he became a big time singer.

I lived in New York for 5 years while I had worked for IBM between years 1900 to 1995.

Japan had practically conquered the entire region West of the Pacific before making the biggest mistake of attacking Pearl Harbor.

Many people had counted him out 20 years ago when he lost his campaign for the majorship.

But he is returning to politics in a big way.
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