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# Question on the use of past perfect

Author Message
Senior Manager
Joined: 05 Oct 2005
Posts: 485
Question on the use of past perfect [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2005, 21:18
Hi... I need clarification on the usage of the past perfect tense.

I have read that the past perfect must be used to describe an event that occured before another subsequent event in the past.
Then i came accross this in the OG:

The company announced that its profits declined much less in the second quarter than analysts had expected it to and its business will improve in the second half of the year.

OA is:

Ok..this is what i'm confused about:
The sentence above refers to the past and the future... so why do we need "had" before "expected" .. Since the two actions are not both in the past, why can't we use "expected" (simple past)?

Thanks guys..
Intern
Joined: 20 Sep 2005
Posts: 33
Re: Question on the use of past perfect [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2005, 21:32
yb wrote:
Hi... I need clarification on the usage of the past perfect tense.

I have read that the past perfect must be used to describe an event that occured before another subsequent event in the past.
Then i came accross this in the OG:

The company announced that its profits declined much less in the second quarter than analysts had expected it to and its business will improve in the second half of the year.

OA is:

Ok..this is what i'm confused about:
The sentence above refers to the past and the future... so why do we need "had" before "expected" .. Since the two actions are not both in the past, why can't we use "expected" (simple past)?

Thanks guys..

I think it means that

1. Company announced that (whatever) than analysts had expected to.
2. Company announced that its business would improve.

In 1, you need "had" because analysts already finished expecting before the company's announcement.

It sounds stupid, but can someone explain why it's "would improve" over "will improve"? I mean, I know that it's not a fact, but couldn't the company be attempting to make a strong statement by using "will", as if it's a factual statement? ...or am I over-analyzing it?

Thanks,
Senior Manager
Joined: 05 Oct 2005
Posts: 485

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09 Nov 2005, 21:42
Thanks..

I think i got it now...
The decline occured in the past, and the analysts' expecation occured even before that, hence the "had".

"Would" is used because announcement about a future event involves uncertainty.
Director
Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 504
Location: MS
Re: Question on the use of past perfect [#permalink]

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09 Nov 2005, 21:46
aiming,

because analysts expected before the Actual reaults ( so one event occured before the other in past).....but I am also...Not sure why would is used ...

Can somebody pls explain the reason for Would.

thanks in bunch

aiming wrote:
yb wrote:
Hi... I need clarification on the usage of the past perfect tense.

I have read that the past perfect must be used to describe an event that occured before another subsequent event in the past.
Then i came accross this in the OG:

The company announced that its profits declined much less in the second quarter than analysts had expected it to and its business will improve in the second half of the year.

OA is:

Ok..this is what i'm confused about:
The sentence above refers to the past and the future... so why do we need "had" before "expected" .. Since the two actions are not both in the past, why can't we use "expected" (simple past)?

Thanks guys..

I think it means that

1. Company announced that (whatever) than analysts had expected to.
2. Company announced that its business would improve.

In 1, you need "had" because analysts already finished expecting before the company's announcement.

It sounds stupid, but can someone explain why it's "would improve" over "will improve"? I mean, I know that it's not a fact, but couldn't the company be attempting to make a strong statement by using "will", as if it's a factual statement? ...or am I over-analyzing it?

Thanks,
Intern
Joined: 20 Sep 2005
Posts: 33

### Show Tags

09 Nov 2005, 21:48
yb wrote:
Thanks..

I think i got it now...
The decline occured in the past, and the analysts' expecation occured even before that, hence the "had".

"Would" is used because announcement about a future event involves uncertainty.

Yep. Exactly. Thanks about the "would". "will" and "would" are sometimes difficult. I got tricked in question like

"Scientists predicted that the dog WILL die if you don't feed it."

Although the event is about the future, it uses WILL instead of WOULD because it's a prediction. I guess it's not a prediction in your example, so it would be "would".

Thanks.
09 Nov 2005, 21:48
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