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    #1

    Doubt about phrase

    Hello usingenglish;
    "The Red Cross workers had not expected the refugees from the flooded plain to be as desperate and as undernourished as those whom they had seen earlier in the week.''
    I would like to ask why isn't incorrect the past participle ''had seen earlier''; would'd be ''saw'', because such action occurred later, not at the same past ''expected'' did?

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Doubt about phrase

    The past perfect in the first line is confusing you. There is obviously some earlier context such as 'People from the flooded plain started dribbling in, in just as bad a state.' Before they arrived, the aid workers had expected that they wouldn't be in as bad a state as the ones they had previously seen. The expectation about the second lot of refugees was formed after seeing the first lot of refugees.

    b

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    #3

    Re: Doubt about phrase

    Hello BobK; thank you for answer; There aren't any previous statement which suggest that aiders first saw a lot of refugeers suffering, than expected another lot wouldn't be in the same condidition. But the last information: ''earlier in this week'' insinuate the time differences between those facts; Am I right? If there aren't any previous situation which put such facts on the past, so isn't more adequate swift ''had not expected'' to ''didn't expected'' or ''haven't expected''.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Doubt about phrase

    I don't really understand. When I said 'earlier context' I didn't mean just witten words; I meant what some writers have called 'context of situation' - something that had happened 'earlier in the week'. That phrase does imply a time difference; (it doesn't 'insinuate' it.

    I don't understand your last sentence at all. Sorry.

    b

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    #5

    Re: Doubt about phrase

    What's the wider context? There could be further clues in the surrounding sentences.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Doubt about phrase

    How about this as a potential timeline:

    Monday - desperate and undernourished people arrive
    Wednesday - more people arrive. They are just as desperate and undernourished as the Monday people. This is a surprise to the Red Cross workers.
    Thursday - the writer of the story speaks to the Red Cross workers who say "We were surprised to see the people arriving Wednesday were just as desperate and undernourished as those who arrived on Monday."
    Friday - the writer writes the story. By this point, everything is in the past. So, by Friday, he is reporting that (on Thursday), the Red Cross had been surprised about the state of the people who arrived on Wednesday, which was the same state as those they had seen earlier in the week (Monday).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: Doubt about phrase

    But why isn't:

    The Red Cross workers didn't expect(last preterit) the refugees from the flooded plain to be as desperate and as undernourished as those whom they had seen (earlier preterit) earlier in the week.'

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