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English as a Second Language/Simple past or past prefect?

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Question
Hi again, Amy.

I read the following from Michael Swan’s Practical English Usage.

591 This is the first time etc.

When we talked about the past, we use the past perfect in these structures.

It was the third time had been in love that year. (Not…the third time he was in love..)
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However,I saw some people use simple past in sentences constructed with “That/It was the first time etc. I googled some of the sentences as follows:

It was the first time I saw you.
It was the first time I milked a cow.
It was the first time he cooked for me.

I wonder if it is incorrect to use simple past in sentences constructed with “That/It was the first time etc.

Thanks.

Best Regards,
CH

Answer
Please refer to the following websites for more detailed explanations on the proper use of past tense vs past perfect:


http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/pastperfect.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv210.sh

http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/410/grammar/pastpf.htm

http://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/lessons/past-simple-or-past-perfect

Let me know if the above helped or if you still require my assistance.

Best regards,

Amy

English as a Second Language

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Amy Baker

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I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.

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I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

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BSc MEd TESL post grad program for k-12 TESL post grad program for adult ed

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