starlight1968sg wrote:The Alternative Story wrote:
For your example:
John was sick because he ate some rotten apples.
The 'eating of rotten apples' explains why he is sick.
It does not indicate that one action has happened first.
It is a reason-result type of sentence.
It is not a sentence indicating the different timing of 2 actions.
Hence the past perfect tense should not be used.
I am unclear; isn't "had eaten some rotten apples" being the first and "was sick" the second action?
Yes it seems that way, but 'was sick' is the result of 'eating the rotten apples'. It is a result-reason type of question.
When past perfect tense
is used, it is to show that one action is completed
before the other started.
- After I had eaten my dinner, I went to see a movie.
Here, it shows that one action is completed (eating dinner)
before another (going to see a movie).
In the 'John was sick' example, the being sick and
eating apples is not connected based on a timeline
but based on giving the result of eating the apples.