Real English

In Speak Up n.357, in the article “How I lost my job”, there are two verbal tenses which I imagine are right, but I would have used different ones. They are: I met an HR woman and she HAD TOLD (why not TOLD?) me…; It was a struggle […] since I HAVEN’T BEEN (why not HADN’T BEEN?) Thank you.   Donatella

Your observation is technically correct: the interviewee should have said “she told me” but the fact of the matter is that English mother-tongue speakers often make small slips like this in conversation. There is nothing wrong with that: with our interviews we try and show how “real” English is spoken.
We often tell our readers not to be too obsessed with grammatical perfection as usually British and American speakers won’t even notice! If you want to communicate you need to learn to speak and understand the language: this is far more important than grammar. 

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