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1: I thought you would’ve finished the project.

2: I thought you would’ve finished the project by now.

I know the sentence is correct. Is sentence 1 the same as sentence 2 even it’s missing ‘by now’? Can ‘by now’ be omitted? Thanks.

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anonymousIs sentence 1 the same as sentence 2 even it’s missing ‘by now’? Can ‘by now’ be omitted?

No. No.

Sentence 1 doesn't specify whether it's, for example, 'by now' or 'by then' or something else.

— I worked at Acme Widgets in accounting for years, but when I got an offer to teach at Charm School, I just dropped everything, quit my accounting job, and left Acme without even finishing a project I was working on.
— Hmm. I thought you would've finished the project before leaving your old job.

'by now' would be completely wrong in the context given above, and leaving it out could never imply that 'by now' was intended.

CJ

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CalifJimI thought you would've finished the project before leaving your old job.
Wouldn't "had finished" be more common in that context?
CalifJim
anonymousIs sentence 1 the same as sentence 2 even it’s missing ‘by now’? Can ‘by now’ be omitted?

No. No.

Sentence 1 doesn't specify whether it's, for example, 'by now' or 'by then' or something else.

— I worked at Acme Widgets in accounting for years, but when I got an offer to teach at Charm School, I just dropped everything, quit my accounting job, and left Acme without even finishing a project I was working on.
— Hmm. I thought you would've finished the project before leaving your old job.

'by now' would be completely wrong in the context given above, and leaving it out could never imply that 'by now' was intended.

CJ

Thank you, CJ. So, is the sentence, 'I thought you would’ve finished the project.' correct itself without 'by now' or other past action like 'before leaving your old job.'? Or does the sentence with this kind of structure need to have a context to mean that there is some implied past action like "before leaving your old job" in your example? I hope you can understand what I am trying to ask.

Persian Learner
CalifJimI thought you would've finished the project before leaving your old job.
Wouldn't "had finished" be more common in that context?

I really can't say. Both are possible. "had finished" implies that the speaker had heard (wrongly) that the other person had in fact finished the project before leaving and is expressing some surprise to find that he/she was wrong, whereas with "would've finished" the speaker never knew one way or the other whether the project had been finished, but reveals his opinion of the other person's character (tinged with some disappointment, perhaps, at not living up to the speaker's expectations).

CJ

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anonymousis the sentence, 'I thought you would’ve finished the project.' correct itself without 'by now' or other past action like 'before leaving your old job.'?

Yes, it's correct. Without any other information in the sentence, it's up to the context to help the listener work out the full meaning, of course.

anonymousdoes the sentence with this kind of structure need to have a context to mean that there is some implied past action like "before leaving your old job" in your example?

Yes. It's needs context (but then almost all sentences do). The context can come from other words that are spoken or non-verbally from the surrounding situation, including knowledge gathered from previous conversations on the same topic between these speakers.

CJ

anonymousdoes the sentence with this kind of structure need to have a context to mean that there is some implied past action like "before leaving your old job" in your example?

Yes. It's needs context (but then almost all sentences do). The context can come from other words that are spoken or non-verbally from the surrounding situation, including knowledge gathered from previous conversations on the same topic between these speakers.

CJ

I believe the context for the past action is compulsory especially for this sentence structure because the 'would've' part shows that the action was complete before another past action because it's basically future perfect in the past or seen from the past. All the perfect forms, whether it's present perfect or past perfect or future perfect or future perfect seen in the past need some other action to show the completion of the action before other action. That's why the context is needed. Am I correct?

anonymousI believe the context for the past action is compulsory especially for this sentence structure because the 'would've' part shows that the action was complete before another past action

You are probably right, but it's unclear which two past actions you are referring to in the given sentence, and which of the two was supposed to have occurred first.

anonymousit's basically future perfect in the past

That is one way of looking at it. Yes.

anonymousAll the perfect forms, whether it's present perfect or past perfect or future perfect or future perfect seen in the past need some other action to show the completion of the action before other action.

You say "all", but I don't think it applies so universally. The present perfect, especially, does not usually place an action with respect to another action. Instead, it places an action with respect to present time, i.e., to the time of the utterance of the sentence.

CJ

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Persian Learner
CalifJimI thought you would've finished the project before leaving your old job.
Wouldn't "had finished" be more common in that context?

They are completely different from each other. One is past perfect tense and the other one is future seen in the past.

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