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German-English: Vorvergangenheit Options
rogermue
Posted: Friday, March 13, 2015 11:17:07 AM

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Joined: 1/28/2012
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Location: München, Bavaria, Germany
How to translate German Vorvergangenheit into English.
Babelio suggests Past anterior.
I would like a simple term and not something with a French adjective in postposition.
My creations were 1 past-before-past, 2 prepast.

Example: Yesterday I finished reading Hamlet. Before I had read Macbeth.
"yesterday" refers to a time past. "before" refers to prepast.

My question. Is there a common term for prepast and if so what is the most common term?
Maybe a term such as Vorvergangenheit isn't used in English grammars at all.
tunaafi
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 10:53:36 AM

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Joined: 6/3/2014
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Location: Karlín, Praha, Czech Republic
There is no recognised term that I know of. I'd use (an) earlier past.

Incidentally, I don't find your second sentence very natural. Yesterday I finished reading Hamlet. Before I had read Macbeth. I'd say:

I had previously read Macbeth
I had read Macbeth before that.
I had already read Macbeth.
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