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Thread: I thought I had

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    I thought I had

    Hi,

    I know that this is correct: "I thought I had replied"


    What about this: "I thought I replied". Personally I think it should be something like "I thought I replied a couple a days ago" with a exact indication on when the reply happened.

    Which is more correct? Or are they equally correct?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by lycen; 19-Sep-2009 at 00:29. Reason: Addition of content

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    Re: I thought I had

    Quote Originally Posted by lycen View Post
    Hi,

    I know that this is correct: "I thought I had replied"


    What about this: "I thought I replied". Personally I think it should be something like "I thought I replied a couple a days ago" with a exact indication on when the reply happened.

    Which is more correct? Or are they equally correct?

    Thanks.
    They're equally correct. ESL grammar books could lead one to believe that "I thought I had replied" should be what one says, but this is not really so.

    Indicating exactly when one replied is not necessary. It can add clarity, but it doesn't make the sentence more or less correct.

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    Re: I thought I had

    Quote Originally Posted by lycen View Post
    What about this: "I thought I replied". Personally I think it should be something like "I thought I replied a couple of days ago" with a exact indication on when the reply happened.
    R.

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    Re: I thought I had

    Quote Originally Posted by lycen View Post
    Hi,

    I know that this is correct: "I thought I had replied"


    What about this: "I thought I replied". Personally I think it should be something like "I thought I replied a couple a days ago" with a exact indication on when the reply happened.

    Which is more correct? Or are they equally correct?

    Thanks.
    I'm not sure I agree with "a couple a" and would write "a couple o' " or "a couple of" days ago.

    It still should be the pluperfect: "I thought I had replied a few days ago," because the "thought" and the "had replied" are at different times, indicating different tenses.

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    Re: I thought I had

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    R.
    What about this: "I thought I replied". Personally I think it should be something like "I thought I replied a couple of days ago" with a exact indication on when the reply happened.



    I let that get by. Yes, "a couple of days ago", not "a couple a days ago".

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    Re: I thought I had

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    It still should be the pluperfect: "I thought I had replied a few days ago," because the "thought" and the "had replied" are at different times, indicating different tenses.
    It's true they're at different times, but that does not make "I thought I replied" incorrect. It's sufficiently obvious that "the reply" came before the thought without forcing the use the use of the past perfect in such as a sentence as this. Or this is sufficiently obvious: First the speaker replied, or did not reply, and then the speaker thought he or she replied. The simple past still clearly tells us this. It's correct to use the past perfect as well, but not incorrect to use the simple past.

    What you are referring to is the past perfect. The term pluperfect is rather antiquated, I would say.

    The "past perfect" is not a tense. It's an aspect of the past, or a way in which we can talk about the past in a specifc way.

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    Re: I thought I had

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    It's true they're at different times, but that does not make "I thought I replied" incorrect. It's sufficiently obvious that "the reply" came before the thought without forcing the use the use of the past perfect in such as a sentence as this. Or this is sufficiently obvious: First the speaker replied, or did not reply, and then the speaker thought he or she replied. The simple past still clearly tells us this. It's correct to use the past perfect as well, but not incorrect to use the simple past.

    What you are referring to is the past perfect. The term pluperfect is rather antiquated, I would say.

    The "past perfect" is not a tense. It's an aspect of the past, or a way in which we can talk about the past in a specifc way.
    Firstly, I want to say that the "couple a days" was a typo error.

    You said that "past perfect" is not a tense, however, in grammar books there is such a thing as past perfect tense. It is not the simple past tense because it tells you what was already done at a particular time in the past and that is the point of the past perfect tense. I was thinking if the simple past could replace the past perfect tense, we would not need it at all.

    When I googled on "I thought I had replied" and "I thought I replied", the results seems to more common for the former. I think konungursvia could be right, it should be "I thought I had replied" or "I thought I'd replied" which sounds like "I thought I replied". As you have said, the ESL grammar books also teach "I thought I had replied".
    Last edited by lycen; 21-Sep-2009 at 02:33. Reason: more content

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    Re: I thought I had

    'I thought I replied' is common in speech, so no one can call it wrong. Having said that, when you are attempting to use written English correctly, you must write "I thought I had replied" in this case. The others are not correct in terms of the norms of formal written English. Only in vernacular spoken English.

    As for the 'pluperfect' it is correct, and it is a tense. Some people only know what they learnt yesterday or today, from Wikipedia. It doesn't matter. Bless 'em all, I say. They appear to need it.

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    Re: I thought I had

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    'I thought I replied' is common in speech, so no one can call it wrong. Having said that, when you are attempting to use written English correctly, you must write "I thought I had replied" in this case. The others are not correct in terms of the norms of formal written English. Only in vernacular spoken English.

    As for the 'pluperfect' it is correct, and it is a tense. Some people only know what they learnt yesterday or today, from Wikipedia. It doesn't matter. Bless 'em all, I say. They appear to need it.
    You really helped, thanks a lot!

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    Re: I thought I had

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    'I thought I replied' is common in speech, so no one can call it wrong. Having said that, when you are attempting to use written English correctly, you must write "I thought I had replied" in this case. The others are not correct in terms of the norms of formal written English. Only in vernacular spoken English.

    As for the 'pluperfect' it is correct, and it is a tense. Some people only know what they learnt yesterday or today, from Wikipedia. It doesn't matter. Bless 'em all, I say. They appear to need it.
    What kind of writing are you talking about? When you say writing, do you mean all writing?

    Yes, and some people only know antiquated terms like "pluperfect". And some people know why it's easier to deal with English verbs by speaking of two tenses instead of multiple tenses. These people ought to blessed as well. By the way, in your way of thinking about verbs, how many tenses do you think English has?

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