Using simple past after ''wonder''

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''Mrs. Dursley sipped her tea through pursed lips. Mr. Dursley wondered
whether he dared tell her he'd heard the name "Potter." He decided he
didn't dare. Instead he said, as casually as he could, "Their son --he'd be about Dudley's age now, wouldn't he?"''
It wouldn't be correct to use ''whether he would dare'' rather than ''dared''?

Thank you very much.
 

probus

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Yes, definitely you could say "whether he would dare." I have a suspicion that "whether he dared" is more BrE and "whether he would dare" more AmE, but it's only a suspicion.
 
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Rover_KE

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I have a suspicion that "whether he dared" is more BrE and "whether he would dare" more AmE, but it's only a suspicion.

Your suspicion about the BrE preference is spot on.

Rover
 

5jj

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I think that both are possible, depending on the thought on the speaker's mind:

"Dare I tell her (now)?" = He wondered whether he dared tell her.
"Will I (ever, in the future) dare tell her?" - He wondered whether he would dare tell her.
 
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So the next sentence ''he decided he didn't dare'' means a narrow future? Thank you for answering.
 
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