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    #1

    had predicted or predict?

    Hi,

    Does the past perfect in the following passage have a past event as its anchor point?

    To be a good scientist, you have to be tolerant and patient when experiments or interpretations do not turn out as you had predicted. You must be able to stand high levels of frustration.

    Can "predict" be used instead?

    I'd appreciate your help.





  2. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: had predicted or predict?

    Yes and yes.

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    #3

    Re: had predicted or predict?

    Is there any difference between the two?

    Can "have predicted" be used?

  4. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: had predicted or predict?

    What kind of difference do you have in mind?

    The version with had predicted shows a perfective aspect that the past simple version doesn't show.

    Yes, have predicted could also be used, also showing a perfective aspect. The present simple predict could also be used.

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    #5

    Re: had predicted or predict?

    What's the anchor point for "had predicted" in the original?

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    #6

    Re: had predicted or predict?

    The time of the experiments or interpretations. The predictions were made before then.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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    #7

    Re: had predicted or predict?

    Can the past-tense form "predicted" be used as well?

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    #8

    Re: had predicted or predict?

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post
    Can the past-tense form "predicted" be used as well?
    I wouldn't. I've been noticing more and more native speakers using the past simple in place of the past perfect, though. It wouldn't surprise me to see it in the quoted sentence.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: had predicted or predict?

    I have long believed that the past perfect is far less commonly used in normal conversation and less formal writing than course books and student grammars suggest is essential. Let's face it, we don't need the past perfect in the sentence we are discussing. The sequence of events is perfectly clear in:

    To be a good scientist, you have to be tolerant and patient when experiments or interpretations do not turn out as you predicted.


    ps; That's an opinion only. I suggest that learners always use the past perfect in cases where their course books and grammars say they must. Your teachers/examiners may penalise you if you don't.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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    #10

    Re: had predicted or predict?

    The quoted example is unlike typical examples of the past perfect, such as "In her final hours, she was unaware that her children had died," where the "had died" has the past-tense predicate "was unaware" as the anchor point.

    In the quoted example of the first post, there is no past-tense predicate that could serve as the anchor point for the past-perfect form "had predicted." There is only the present-tense form "experiments do not turn out." If it is the anchor point, I'd expect to see the past-tense predicate "predicted" used. What comes before the present is the past.

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