Which is correct: The gold had been in the safe when she left the shop about 5pm on Thursday. Or: The gold was in the safe when she left the shop about 5pm on Thursday.
I believe the second sentence is correct because we only have the one sentence to work with. We don't know anything else about what's going on. So, the gold was in the safe at the time she left.
The first sentence could be okay, though, if it was in the middle of a story. For example, "She wondered what the heck was going on. Had someone really managed to steal 72 heavy ingots in such a short period of time? All she knew was that the gold had been in the safe at the time she left. Where it was now is anybody's guess."
|link||answered Jun 06 '13 at 06:14 Naomi New member|
To add to and clarify what others have said, which I basically agree with, had been, the Past Perfect, is unnecessary with a time conjunction like when. The basic purpose of the Past Perfect is to order past events, and the time conjunction when (just like after, as soon as, or once) already serves that function. That is why The gold was in the safe when she left the shop about 5pm on Thursday is the most natural sentence.
|link comment||edited Jun 06 '13 at 17:04 Shawn Mooney Expert|
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