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Thread: had thought

  1. #1
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Default had thought

    Are both of these sentences correct?

    The test was easier than I thought it would be.

    The test was easier than I had thought it would be.

    The first sentence sounds better to me, and is, I believe, correct, but I can definitely see the logic behind using the past perfect: at first I thought the test was going to be hard; then I took the test and it turned out to be easier than expected, meaning that I was wrong.

    Maybe it's a matter of when I took the test: if I took it a long time ago, then the past perfect would probably be more suitable.

    Thanks.

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    Nightmare85 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: had thought

    In my opinion, as no teacher and no native speaker, I would not write the "it would be".
    That means:
    The test was easier than I thought.
    The test was easier than I had thought.

    And now I would choose sentence number 1, although I believe sentence 2 were right, too.

    Let's see what our professionals say

    Cheers!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: had thought

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    Are both of these sentences correct?

    The test was easier than I thought it would be.

    The test was easier than I had thought it would be.

    The first sentence sounds better to me, and is, I believe, correct, but I can definitely see the logic behind using the past perfect: at first I thought the test was going to be hard; then I took the test and it turned out to be easier than expected, meaning that I was wrong.

    Maybe it's a matter of when I took the test: if I took it a long time ago, then the past perfect would probably be more suitable.

    Thanks.
    Both are correct. The first is better.
    The simple past is sufficient if it refers to a specific time. Here the specific time is understood to be "before the exam."

    You don't need to explicitly signal the time sequence with tenses, since it's obvious that it was before the exam that you (had) thought it would be hard. The 'had' adds nothing.
    But if the surrounding context, story, narrative seems to call for the past perfect, then use it. Your "long time ago" is not an indication.

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