Bonjour Madame Cécile !
I wrote to you regarding a nuance between the use of tenses in the Past Time a while ago.
You had provided me with this sentence ->
Après qu'il avait vu ce film, il avait été bouleversé .
After reading your answer several times, I understand that you mentioned “avait été” instead of “était” because once he ‘had seen’ the film , then he ‘had completely got shattered’ which happens immediately as the film finishes; making the actions almost simultaneous.
Hence, the use of le plus-que Parfait is recommended.
So in response to a question I had asked earlier ->
What does the use of Le plus-que-Parfait signify about the sequence of events happening in the sentences ? Does it connote an action getting completed or finished prior to another or simultaneous actions occurring in the past ?
It can also be used to signify an action getting completed prior to another however, the time interval between the two actions in the past should be a longer one .
As in the sentence-
Nous étions très surpris de les voir, car ils n'étaient pas venus ici depuis trois ans.-> We were very surprised to see them, for they hadn't come here for three years.
The action of “not coming there” got finished three years ago and the result of this action is that ‘they were surprised to see them when they returned’
J'étais sorti de la voiture quand je les ai entendus.-> I'd got out of the car when I heard them.
The action of “getting out of the car” was finished long back . He was already out when he heard their sound.
Elles étaient allées manger une glace quand le voleur est venu.-> They had gone to eat an ice cream when the thief came.
Here, the sentence emphasises on the point that the girls were not at home (they had already went out) when the thief entered. [LONGER TIME GAP]
If one writes it as - Elles sont allées manger une glace quand le voleur est venu.
This will imply that the action of the girls going to the ice cream parlour happened in close proximity to the action of the thief entering the house. [SHORTER TIME GAP] which makes the case less elegant.
Is my justification correct ? Again, thanks for spending time to respond.
Frankly speaking Madame, I am working really hard to get right with my tenses and your endeavour and support is crucial to hone my skills.