Nearly ten years had passed since the Dursleys had woken up to find
their nephew on the front step, but Privet Drive had hardly changed at
all. The sun rose on the same tidy front gardens and lit up the brass
number four on the Dursleys’ front door; it crept into their living
room, which was almost exactly the same as it had been on the night
when Mr. Dursley had seen that fateful news report about the owls.
Only the photographs on the mantelpiece really showed how much time
had passed. Ten years ago, there had been lots of pictures of
what looked like a large pink beach ball wearing different-colored
bonnets (1) — but Dudley Dursley was no longer a baby, and now the
photographs showed a large blond boy riding his first bicycle, on a
carousel at the fair, playing a computer game with his father, being
hugged and kissed by his mother. (2) The room held no sign at all that
another boy lived in the house, too. (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s
Are there photos in (1) and in (2) together or are photos in (1) not there any longer?
The past perfect is a doubly past tense: the perfect aspect indicates that the action happened before some other event, while the past tense indicates that that other event happened before the time when the text was written.
Thus “there had been lots of pictures” was true “ten years ago” (i.e. ten years before the main events narrated in that passage), whereas “the photographs showed” is true “now” (i.e. at the time of the main events narrated in that passage).
The use of the past perfect does not in itself indicate that the event is no longer true later. “There had been lots of pictures”, in isolation, does not state that the pictures are no longer present: they may or may not be still present. However, since the situation of ten years ago is contrasted with the situation now, the photos of ten years ago should be assumed not to be present unless indicated otherwise.
There had been lots of pictures of what looked like a large pink beach ball (…) but now the photographs showed a large blond boy. [The beach ball pictures have been replaced by blond boy pictures.]
There had been lots of pictures of what looked like a large pink beach ball (…) but now photographs also showed a large blond boy. [In addition to the old beach ball pictures, there are now also blond boy pictures. Some of the old pictures may have been replaced, but not all of them.]
Source : Link , Question Author : Listenever , Answer Author : Gilles ‘SO- stop being evil’