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Message de kazan posté le 13-05-2018 à 08:34:07 (S | E | F)
Hi again everyone,
The other day I heard the following sentence in the news ( it was about the US prisoners having been released by North Korea): "They had been in detention for 10 years."
To me, this sentence meant that these men were still in prison. But they were freed, right?
Wouldn't it be more correct to say "They were in prison for 10 years"?.
Many, many thanks in advance.
P.S: Could we consider that this pluperfect is some kind of "present perfect" in the past. Was the host presenting an overview of a situation at a point in time?
Modifié par lucile83 le 13-05-2018 09:25
Réponse : Past perfect/aide de jade77, postée le 13-05-2018 à 12:57:27 (S | E)
Past Perfect is used for two types of past actions :
- a completed action which occurred a long time ago in the past .
He had earned a fortune .
They had bought all the buildings
I had lost my club card .
- an action occurred in the recent past before something else that happened .
The patient had died before the doctor came .
I had won ten competitions before entering the champions league .
How long had it been since you saw each other .
Réponse : Past perfect/aide de lucile83, postée le 13-05-2018 à 14:48:10 (S | E)
The explanations given by jade77 are right, and to answer your precise question I'd say the two sentences are correct as well but there is a little difference in their meaning.
They had been in detention for 10 years. ...we can notice that it insists on the duration, and we expect another event occuring afterwards.
They were in prison for 10 years. ...here we don't mind about the duration; we inform of the number of years they stayed in jail.
Hope it helps.
Réponse : Past perfect/aide de gerondif, postée le 13-05-2018 à 17:32:52 (S | E)
Lavilliers : Melody - tempo - harmony
Ses textes étaient précis et bourrés d'humour noir
C'était donc mon ami depuis ce fameux soir.
J'étais noir moi aussi mais pour d'autres raisons
J'avais passé dix ans à dormir en prison.
His lyrics were precise and crammed with black humour
So, he had been my friend since that famous night.
I was black as well but for another reason altogether
I had spent ten years sleeping in jail. / I had been in jail for ten years.
Si for ou since signifient depuis, alors un past perfect correspond à un imparfait français.
Mais rien n'empêche que for signifie pendant et qu'on ait un plus que parfait.
He had been in jail for ten years, from 2000 et 2010, but he resumed quite a normal life after he was released.
Réponse : Past perfect/aide de kazan, postée le 13-05-2018 à 20:35:08 (S | E)
Thank you everybody,
English is... complicated. Well, everyday is another step forward, I guess.
Thank you all, again.
Gerondif, thanks for translating the Lyrics : ) It was nice.
Réponse : Past perfect/aide de jade77, postée le 13-05-2018 à 23:15:38 (S | E)
As Lucile has mentioned, using past perfect adds more emphasis about duration spent in jail by US prisoners and the phrase above is more likely the first part of a complete sentence like "they had been in detention for 10 years before their release this year" . (two past actions)
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