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ESL forum > Ask for help > Past Perfect here?    

Past Perfect here?



blunderbuster
Germany

Past Perfect here?
 
Hi, this sounds weird, doesn t it?


"They could get killed by wild animals they hadn t seen before they jumped into the water."

Regards
Regina

1 Apr 2010      



RabbitWho
Czech Republic

"They could have got/gotten killed by wild animals they hadn t seen before they jumped into the water."?

"They could get killed by wild animals they didn t see before they jumped into the water." (They re still in the water)


1 Apr 2010     



blunderbuster
Germany

Hi Rabbit ;o)

That is the question. Technically it should be past perfect here, right?

A past simple sequence:

They looked if there was a dangerous animal in the water, they didn t see one, the jumped in.

A past perfect event ( that was or wasnt completed before another event happened)

(They had tested if the water was hot before they jumped in. ) --> They hadn t seen the animal before they jumped in. (--> they were eaten by it)

???

Geek


1 Apr 2010     



Fabiola R
Argentina

At the very beginning you ought to write COULD HAVE GOT; because it is an UNFULFILLED ACTION with past time reference...


The sentence must be

THEY COULD HAVE GOT KILLED BY WILD ANIMALS THEY HADN T SEEN BEFORE THEY JUMPED INTO THE WATER.

Sleepy

1 Apr 2010     



anaram
Spain

I think it all depends on the context. Grammatically its possible. Could would refer to a possibility (tentative future in the past), so we would have three time references: the time focused in the story (past: they were in the water),  a possibility of something happening in the future of that past (being killed) and a past in the past (they had not seen animals before they jumped in) If it sounds strange is only because were in the middle of the story, theres a lack of context but to me its perfectly OK.

1 Apr 2010