Past perfect for something that did not happen

2

I got a parcel from the label but it is not what I ordered. I ordered a copy of this and that I received two other things. Both of them had been already ordered and received. I knew you had problems but when I saw the parcel I thought they were over!! I expected to receive what I had ordered! I was wrong......

Will it be possible to write "I had expected" instead of "I expected" because what I had expected did not happen?

user5577

Posted 2015-03-13T11:52:41.573

Reputation: 5 564

The text you have written is a bit unclear. a) "I ordered a copy of this and that I received two other things" is not grammatical. In addition, it is unclear what this means: b) "but when I saw the parcel I thought they were over!!" – None – 2015-05-12T19:04:13.457

I ordered 2 singles but I received 2 different singles. It was not what I ordered but when I saw the parcel I thought your problems were over .In which cases can I use I had expected to receive what I had ordered – user5577 – 2015-05-13T12:03:38.130

Answers

1

Past Perfect is used in the same sentence as Past Tense so a reader can know what happened before some other past action. If you use Past Perfect in both sentences (in your example), then both of them happened before what?!

So I would just leave as is, or introduce another sentence like "I was surprised as I had expected to receive what I had ordered".

The native speakers may suggest another approach from the spoken speech. Things I wrote here are for the written conversations.

sandalone

Posted 2015-03-13T11:52:41.573

Reputation: 322

1I had expected to receive what I had ordered is fine. Both perfect tenses can relate to other, separate past times. They do not have to relate to each other, if written/said in the same sentence. But, in general, such use of the past perfect can amount to overuse. It really depends on the nuance in meaning and how nuanced one wants to be at any particular moment.. – None – 2015-05-12T18:52:10.693

1

You can write/say:

I had expected to receive what I had ordered.

This is fine. And the (past) perfect can be used to express a particular nuance of meaning--as long as you know what you ared doing. But it is not necessary in this sentence; and if you do say it, you risk overusing the past perfect.

Your text is a little bit unclear (see my comment), so I won't go into details until you've cleared it up.

user6951

Posted 2015-03-13T11:52:41.573

Reputation:

So I should write But when I saw the parcel l was thinking you did not have anymore problems but I was wrong because I did not receive what I (had)ordered. Is it clearer? – user5577 – 2015-05-12T19:43:25.650

Yes, that's clear. And in this case, I would use the simple past, ordered. – None – 2015-05-12T21:45:25.137

But you still did not clear up the two sentences I mentioned in the comment that I link to in my answer... – None – 2015-05-12T21:51:52.550

"problems anymore" (no longer) or "any more problems" (only the problems already encountered). NOT "anymore problems" , Because the single word "anymore" is an adverb, not an adjective. – Brian Hitchcock – 2015-05-13T08:05:47.230