How do you determine when to use simple past and past perfect tenses?

After ancient Greek athletes won a race in the Olympics, they ___ a simple crown of olive leaves. a.received b. had received

I know that the answer is b, but why can't I use simple past "received"?

  1. After the race____ , the celebration began.
    a. had been won b. is won

1 Answer
Mar 9, 2018

Nice question


Accordingly Raymond Murphy intermediate level book,

simple past has specific time.

Like, I went to the super market last night. simple past specific completed work having time.

I have traveled the USA two times.
no specific time.

But if you want to use past perfect tense except possession meaning ( I had a dog) you can not use past perfect tense unless there are two facts. And if two facts occurred in the past time, the first one will be past perfect tense.
Like, I had finished my usual job before I came here.