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# Sentence correction

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Intern
Joined: 16 May 2017
Posts: 39

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05 Oct 2017, 00:49
1
I have been there many times in past
I had been there many times in past.

I know the first one is correct but I want to know why the second one is wrong.

If I remove "in past" at the end of the sentence

then which is correct and why?

English is not my native language but I need to know rules behind this one.
Intern
Joined: 16 May 2017
Posts: 39

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05 Oct 2017, 00:53

thank you.
Manager
Joined: 17 Jul 2017
Posts: 116
Location: India
GMAT 1: 690 Q50 V33
GMAT 2: 750 Q50 V40
WE: Engineering (Transportation)

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05 Oct 2017, 01:28
Had should be used when you refer to an activity done several times in the past and then continued doing it after that point.
I am not an expert, but remember reading this somewhere.
Manager
Status: Enjoying the Journey
Affiliations: ND
Joined: 26 Sep 2017
Posts: 114
Schools: Rotman '21
WE: Marketing (Consulting)

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05 Oct 2017, 22:56
saarthak299 wrote:
I have been there many times in past
I had been there many times in past.

I know the first one is correct but I want to know why the second one is wrong.

If I remove "in past" at the end of the sentence

then which is correct and why?

English is not my native language but I need to know rules behind this one.

Hi saarthak299

I will try to explain as much as I can...

Present perfect: the action started in the past and is still continuing in the present
Past perfect: the action started in the past and was completed in the past

"I have been there many times" (implicit meaning: I have been there during my lifetime)
Since you are stating this phrase then you are still alive and you might go again in the future, therefore you can't use the the past perfect "had been", however, if you are talking about someone who passed away you may say...

"he had been there many times"

This is what I understand, you can still hit "request expert reply button"
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08 Oct 2017, 13:27
1
saarthak299 wrote:
I have been there many times in past
I had been there many times in past.

I know the first one is correct but I want to know why the second one is wrong.

If I remove "in past" at the end of the sentence

then which is correct and why?

English is not my native language but I need to know rules behind this one.

First, a little terminology:

have been there = present perfect tense
had been there = past perfect tense

There's a meaning difference between them, but it's pretty subtle (like previous posters have mentioned, it has to do with whether the action or its effects have continued into the present.) It's a fairly tough meaning difference to grasp even for native speakers, even if they're able to tell that one verb tense 'seems right' or 'seems wrong'.

Because the meaning difference is sort of tough, it's probably better to focus on the grammar rules for using these two tenses. The rule for the past perfect on the GMAT is this:

You can only use the past perfect if the sentence has either a time marker, or another verb in the simple past tense. The action described by that verb or that time marker must have occurred more recently than the past perfect verb.

For example, the following sentences are correct. The past perfect verb is in red, and the time marker or simple past verb is in blue.

By the time they arrived, I had eaten all of the pancakes.

The novel had not been published prior to 1981.

This sentence is wrong because there's no time marker:

I had eaten all of the pancakes.

This sentence is wrong because there's a time marker, but it happened before the past perfect verb. The time marker has to describe something that happened afterwards.

---

For the present perfect, the only grammar rule is that you can't use it if there's a definite end point to the action. For instance, this sentence is correct:

I have studied eight languages.

But this sentence is incorrect:

Before starting high school, I have studied eight languages.

It's incorrect because 'before starting high school' implies that there's an endpoint to the studying that you're describing. If there's an endpoint, you can't use the present perfect.
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Joined: 27 Mar 2010
Posts: 1002
Location: Bangalore, India

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16 Oct 2017, 04:29
1
saarthak299 wrote:
I have been there many times in past
I had been there many times in past.

I know the first one is correct but I want to know why the second one is wrong.

Hi saarthak299, have been and had been are present perfect and past perfect forms of the verb be (which has the forms am, is, and are).

I am there.
-Simple present

I was there yesterday.
-Simple past

I have been there many times.
-Present perfect

By October last year, I had been there many times.
-Past Perfect

As instructor above has rightly mentioned, for past perfect to be correct, there has to be an additional event/time-marker in the past. In your sentence, there is only one event. Since there is no additional event/time-marker in the past, past perfect is not correct.

Here, present perfect is absolutely fine because the most classical use of present perfect is to show that an act happened at an unspecific time before now. In this sentence, you want to convey that you have been there at unspecific times before now and hence, present perfect is the right usage.

On the other hand, following would be incorrect:

I have been there yesterday.

This is incorrect because we are using present perfect with specific time (yesterday). That's not allowed.

p.s. Our book EducationAisle Sentence Correction Nirvana discusses Past perfect tense, its application and examples in significant detail. If someone is interested, PM me your email-id; I can mail the corresponding section.
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Thanks,
Ashish
EducationAisle, Bangalore

Sentence Correction Nirvana available on Amazon.in and Flipkart

Now! Preview the entire Grammar Section of Sentence Correction Nirvana at pothi.com

Intern
Joined: 17 Oct 2017
Posts: 6

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26 Oct 2017, 05:24
Sentence correction could be called the easiest part of the Verbal section.
Intern
Joined: 20 Nov 2016
Posts: 3

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27 Oct 2017, 05:37
For the past perfect tense there is also another indicator of past so that past perfect form tense be made
But it doesn't apply on the present perfect tense as
I have been reading the book
All correct
Because present perfect tense can be used without indicator as just for emphasis

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Re: Sentence correction &nbs [#permalink] 27 Oct 2017, 05:37
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# Sentence correction

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