Transmission Line Noise


Wed, Mar 28, 2007

In the sentence “The blind man, who knew that he had risen, motioned him to sit down again” (from Charles Dick­ens, Barn­aby Rudge), “he had risen” is an exam­ple of the plu­per­fect tense. It refers to an event (some­one rises from his seat), which takes place before another event (the blind man notices the fact that the other has risen). Since that sec­ond event (the blind man’s tak­ing notice) is itself a past event and the past tense is used to refer to it (“the blind man knew”), the plu­per­fect is needed to make it clear that the first event (some­one rises) has taken place even ear­lier in the past.