past perfect for past

Cameron, Richard rcameron at
Tue Aug 10 20:29:21 UTC 2010

For this alternation in AAVE, see:

Rickford, John. 1999. African American Vernacular English. Blackwell
Publishers : Oxford.

Chapter 3: Preterite Had + Verb-ed in the Narratives of African American

On Tue, August 10, 2010 3:09 pm, john at wrote:
> About 25 years ago I noticed this sort of this in the usage of speakers of
> Black
> English. On closer analysis, I found that it was used particularly for
> completed
> actions at the beginning of narrative sequences, e.g. starting a personal
> story with 'I'd gone to New York last weekend and I saw my cousin and he
> told
> me...'. It wasn't used for past tenses in general, just in that context.
> John
> Quoting "Moore, John" <moorej at>:
>> I heard someone claim that younger speakers of American English will use
>> the
>> past perfect ('I'd gone') instead of the simple past ('I went') in
>> colloquial
>> speech.  Has anyone heard of this, and if so, does anyone know of any
>> literature n it?
>> thanks, John
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