+0
Venerable teachers,

Hello.
I'm trying to transform a sentence written in present tense to one in past tense:
It is not as painful as I thought it would be.

A. It was not as painful as I had thought it would be.
B. It was not as painful as I thought it would be.

Is A the only correct choice? Is B grammatically incorrect?
What's the difference between A and B?

Thank you


1 2
Comments  
I think that if you just report here, B is definitely incorrect.

A approaches, but I think it should be:

It was not as painful as I had thought it would have been.
The teachers will correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks :-)
Thank you for pointing that out. Let me fix that.

A. It was not as painful as I had thought it would have been.
B. It was not as painful as I thought it would be.

So since the expectation occurs prior to the experience, you should not use B?
I see that people often use phrases such as "wasn't as bad as I thought it would be."
Is this a grammatically incorrect usage?

Thank you

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
My rule of thumb is to only use past participles (i.e., "had thought," etc.) when it is necessary. "It was not as paintful as I thought . . . ." is just as gramatically correct as "it was not as paintful as I had thought . . . ." but the former is certainly clearer than the latter, and thus preferred.

I'm trying to determine if there's a difference in the latter part of the sentences in A and B, but I think my opinions is that I would follow the same rule as above. So my answer would be:

It was not as painful as I thought it would be.

But I am not firmly convinced of the second half.

Tim
Hello Optimus again

I rather agree to Marverick's opinion. But as you told us, many native speakers are breaking the rule of time sequence in this particular construct.

My google results were as follows:
was not as ~ as I thought it would be : 10,900 hits
was not as ~ as I had thought it would be : 456 hits
I'm totally confused with this linguistic fact. I also would like to hear opinions from native speakers.

paco
Like I mentioned before, "thought" is already preterite; "had thought" is past participle, and it really adds nothing, but only makes the sentence clumsier. Thus it should not be confusing that this form is the more common, since it is more elegant than the alternative, and no less correct.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
I reread my grammar books and they said we don't need to use the past perfect when the time-sequence relation is evident contextually.
[1] After the parade was over, the crowd began to dwindle.
[2] The damage was a lot heavier than I (had) thought.
In the case [1], 'had been over' is rather redundant because there is 'after'. In the case [2], 'had' is optional. So says one of the books.

paco
TimKowal writes: My rule of thumb is to only use past participles ... when it is necessary.

We don't have a context here that would dictate what is necessary. What is the original sentence for which the change in tense is required, and does that original sentence have a context?

Paco gives an example of a context where the A version would be preferred.
I am not sure I can lift her. I don't know how heavy she'll be. She could be a hundred pounds, she could be a hundred and fifty pounds ...
As I stand up, she reaches her other arm around to meet the one around my neck, and grabs one hand with the other. She is not as heavy as I thought she would be. She is not as bony as I feared she would be.

Thank you
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Show more