Learn English – “had hit” vs “hit”

tenses

Possible Duplicate:
Is past perfect necessary in the following

I was writing a sample event description and I came across the following choices:

The school that I went to, I had a classmate who used to get into fights. One day he had hit a guy in the face and was called by the principal.

The school that I went to, I had a classmate who used to get into fights. One day he hit a guy in the face and was called by the principal.

Which one seems to be the correct choice?

Best Answer

Both are possible, but the second is more likely. You would use the first only if you wanted to emphasise a certain time lapse between the hitting and the calling. In this slightly different sentence, however, you would almost certainly want the past perfect construction: ‘One day he was called by the principal because he had hit a guy.’ Because one event caused the other here, the two are clearly seen as being in separate timeframes.

Incidentally, to start the sentence in the way you do with ‘The school that I went to . . .’ is colloquial. That may be what you want, but otherwise it would be normal to say ‘At the school that I went to . . .’