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    #1

    past perfect

    Is the past perfect a must in the last sentence?

    "Yesterday I went to X for an interview with Z, and the interview went well. It lasted about 30 minutes and Z talked a lot more than I did. I had expected him to ask me tough questions, but he didn't."

    I think it is.

    Thanks.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: past perfect

    A must? No.

    I would include it, though. Going in to the interview, that was your expectation. It makes it clear that was what you were thinking about before the interview started.

    Compare that to something like "The guy was so animated. I expected him to jump up on the desk at any minute." That would have been your expectation during the interview, but not one you would have had before the interview started.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    A must? No.

    I would include it, though. Going in to the interview, that was your expectation. It makes it clear that was what you were thinking about before the interview started.

    Compare that to something like "The guy was so animated. I expected him to jump up on the desk at any minute." That would have been your expectation during the interview, but not one you would have had before the interview started.
    What if the sentence read:

    "I was expecting him to ask me tough questions, but he didn't."

    Would you say "was expecting" would be correct? How about "had been expecting"?

    Thanks.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: past perfect

    First, let me say that none of these are wrong.

    The differences that I feel:

    I was expecting - this describes the way you felt throughout the interview. You could say "I kept expecting" with just about the same meaning.

    I had been expecting -- to means the same to me as "I had expected" except that it makes the length of time you were feeling this way seem a bit longer. You thought about it for a length of time, perhaps.

    This is a personal interpretation. You will have the same basic meaning conveyed regardless of which of the four forms you use.

    (And if it is a real story, then good luck with the job search.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: past perfect

    I know this is a tough subject, but let me give it a try.
    I think that if it is not a must, it is almost.

    1) The fine example brought by Barb_D is indeed interesting, but I don't think it applies to this context, because probably the expectations were construed before the interview.

    2) When you say "I was expecting" you focus on your mood during the interview - while the guy (Z) kept asking easy and confortable questions you kept yourself expecting something toughier. So this construction is possible but with a slightly different meaning.

    3) When you say "I had expected" it means that prior to the interview you had an expectation, which didn't happen to come true.

    PS1 Not a native speaker.
    PS2 These are just some ideas, I would like to discuss them aiming to learn a bit more.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: past perfect

    I think your sense of this is the same as this native speaker's!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #7

    Re: past perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    First, let me say that none of these are wrong.

    The differences that I feel:

    I was expecting - this describes the way you felt throughout the interview. You could say "I kept expecting" with just about the same meaning.

    I had been expecting -- to means the same to me as "I had expected" except that it makes the length of time you were feeling this way seem a bit longer. You thought about it for a length of time, perhaps.

    This is a personal interpretation. You will have the same basic meaning conveyed regardless of which of the four forms you use.

    (And if it is a real story, then good luck with the job search.)
    Absolutely !
    I totally agree.

    Thanks for the fine explanation Barb_D, it helped me clarify my ideas.

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