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  • Hi guys! Dan here for BBC Learning English with this week's Learner Question. Find out

  • what it is after this.

  • OK! This week's learner question comes from Niki from Hungary, who writes: The following

  • sentence has been giving me a headache for weeks now. Could you please give me the correct

  • answer and justify it? When was the last time you had eaten / ate in this restaurant? Two

  • weeks ago. Ok, Niki, are you ready? Here we go.

  • So, in your example it has to be the past simple. When was the last time you ate in

  • this restaurant? Two weeks ago. Now the past simple refers to finished periods of time

  • or moments of time. It refers to a definite past. So, it's often used with time adverbials

  • such as: last night, some time ago, in 1985, earlier today, at six o clock this morning,

  • the last time, the first time, etc etc etc. And don't forget that the auxiliary verb is did. For

  • example: The first time I ever rode a horse was on my 7th birthday. And the last time

  • was 6 months ago.

  • The past simple can also be used to refer to repeated past events and past habits and

  • past states. For example: When I was small, we lived in a cottage by the sea and I played

  • every day on the beach.

  • Now, the past perfect is formed using had + a past participle verb. And, we use it when

  • we are already discussing the past and wish to refer back to an event that happened before

  • this point. For example: When I got to the cinema, the film had already started.

  • Now, the past perfect can also be used with words like after, as soon as, when and once,

  • but usually only to emphasise that one action is quite separate and independent and has

  • finished before another one. Remember, everything's in the past. So, compare these sentences:

  • When I got out of the car, I bought a parking ticket. These two are connected. One follows

  • the other. However, when I had got out of the car, a dog ran over to me. These two events

  • are unconnected and separate.

  • I hope that answers your question Niki. Thank you very much for writing to us. If anybody

  • else out there has a question for Learners' Questions, you can email us on: learning.english@bbc.co.uk.

  • Please remember to put Learners' Questions in the subject box and your name and where

  • you're writing from. We get a lot of emails, guys, and we can't answer every single one,

  • but we do read them all. And for more information, go to our website bbclearningenglish.com.

  • That's it for this week's Learners' Questions. I'll see you next time.

Hi guys! Dan here for BBC Learning English with this week's Learner Question. Find out

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The past simple and past perfect tenses - Learners' Questions

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/01
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