Please take a look at this and tell me if the past perfect tenses can be past tenses, eventhough the past perfect tenses would make sequences more clear. I am confused as to under what circumstances we don't absolutely/necessarily have to use a past perfect. When is leaving it for readers to figure out is acceptable?

She often told the lie that she was fluent n English eventhough she had studied (had - OK??) only a little and couldn't write competently. One day, her boss asked her to interprete a meeting with an American who had just arrived (arrived - ok??) from San Francisco. After few awkward moments, she told him she had to go and left.
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My two cents:

If you ask me, the term optional may be confusing you. To me, the past perfect tense is not used as frequently as the simple past tense and if you just mean to eat, you use it.

It is you who should decide whether the context of your text should give importance to difference etween time sequences or not.
AnonymousAfter few awkward moments, she told him she had to go and left.
It should be "After a few awkward moments..."
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There's no right or wrong here. You just need to decide whether you want your grammar or your context, or both, to show the order in which a particular series of events took place.
Thank you. Does "few awkward moments" cast "few" in negative light, whereas "a few akward moments" cast "a few" in positive light?

a few apples -- enough apples??
few apples -- not enough apples??
' a few' means 'some'; 'few' means 'not many'. The usage of 'few awkward moments' is not appropriate in your sentence. What you meant was 'some awkward moments', NOT 'not many awkward moments'.
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If 'a few' means 'some' as you seemed to have said, when is the use of 'some' appropriate and when is the use of 'a few' appropriate? I seem to have used them without discrimination. Thank you.
Hi Anon

There will be rain in a few areas this afternoon means There will be rain in some areas this afternoon.

There will be rain in few areas means There will be rain in not many areas this afternoon.

Does the second sentence make sense to you?
Hi, again.

I was using 'a few' and 'few' as best as I can in ligth of the sentential context. To me, if the context is negative, then I should use 'few' and the opposite applies to 'a few'.

Contextual application of 'few' and 'few':

He said a few words words during the discussion. -- positive
He rendered few criticisms during the discussion. -- still, positive, to me, because of the existence of the word 'criticisms'.

May be I am applying this concept not-so-well. Could you help?
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