Past perfect or past simple?

Ahmed Abdelhafeez posted:


"After I .......exams last year, I spent my holiday on the beach."

A- had finished        b- finished 



Hi, Ahmed,

Both are grammatically correct. If that question is from one of the outside books or from one of our exams, then use the expected answer, which is: 'had finished'.

Ahmed Abd el-Hafeez,

(This is my best guess at how your name should be parsed in English.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.  I am here to learn as well as to teach.)

Ahmed_btm is correct in saying that both answers are grammatically correct.  This man has been a great resource for us at the Grammar Exchange in understanding what is expected on exams in Egypt, and how the "model answer" often conflicts with naturally spoken English.

This is one of those times.  If you want the right answer for your exam, you should follow Ahmed_btm's advice.  If you want to know which sounds more natural to me as a native speaker of English, I would say (b): "finished".

Let me emphasize, though, that my friend is correct when he says:

Both are grammatically correct.


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