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I thought she told you.

I thought she had told you.

I thought she would’ve told you.

What is the difference in meaning between the sentence above? Somebody please help.

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anonymous

1) I thought she told you.

2) I thought she had told you.

3) I thought she would’ve told you.

What is the difference in meaning between the sentences above? Somebody please help.

1) and 2) are equivalent. 1) simply makes the common substitution of past tense for past perfect tense, which you can do when the change of tense doesn't change the meaning.

3) is about the same, but adds the speaker's surprise or puzzlement that 'she' did not tell 'you'.

CJ

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CalifJim
anonymous

1) I thought she told you.

2) I thought she had told you.

3) I thought she would’ve told you.

What is the difference in meaning between the sentences above? Somebody please help.

1) and 2) are equivalent. 1) simply makes the common substitution of past tense for past perfect tense, which you can do when the change of tense doesn't change the meaning.

3) is about the same, but adds the speaker's surprise or puzzlement that 'she' did not tell 'you'.

CJ

But,

I thought she would’ve told you, and she did.

I thought she would’ve told you, but she didn’t.

I think both are possible. Am I correct? So what do you mean by “surprise or puzzlement”?

CalifJim
anonymous

1) I thought she told you.

2) I thought she had told you.

3) I thought she would’ve told you.

What is the difference in meaning between the sentences above? Somebody please help.

1) and 2) are equivalent. 1) simply makes the common substitution of past tense for past perfect tense, which you can do when the change of tense doesn't change the meaning.

3) is about the same, but adds the speaker's surprise or puzzlement that 'she' did not tell 'you'.

CJ

https://www.englishforums.com/English/PleaseCheck/bxxzmb/post.htm
Can you please look at GPY’s repose to the similar question? His response is contradictory to yours.

CJ's response validates the conversation that GPY agreed with. You have posed different examples, and asked slightly different questions, so it's not surprising that GPY focuses on the idea of backshifting, and CJ does not.

The verbs "figure" and "think" are not the same.

Your conversation.

A: I figured Nancy would have told you.
B: No, she didn’t.
A: Ok

anonymousIs this conversation correct?

GPY: Pretty much, yes.

The surprise that CJ mentions is in B's response to the conversation, so GPY did not point out the contrary meaning.

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
anonymousCan you please look at GPY’s response to the a similar question? His response is contradictory to yours.

The two answers are not contradictory; they just focus on different aspects of the topic.

As for whether "she told you" or "she didn't tell you", in my opinion, that's something requires hearing the sentence.

For me, if "she told you", it would be

I THOUGHT she would've told you.
(She did. My expectations were right.)

And if "she didn't tell you", it would be

I thought she would've TOLD you.
(She didn't. My expectations were wrong. That's why I'm puzzled.)

Without hearing it, I assumed the latter, which I'd say is the more common usage.


Now that I've read what others have said, I'm inclined to think the "future perfect of the past" is probably the closest to a good description of the grammatical pattern you are asking about. I think Alphecca Stars mentioned this. But, as I believe GPY said, the meaning of this particular shade of the future (as used in your examples) is less a temporal relationship and more a special idiomatic sense of confident belief. She will (already) have told you is an example in the present point of view.

Anyway, here's a summary of the tenses that may be of interest to you regarding this topic:

Present point of view:
I think she will tell you. (future of the present)
I think she is going to tell you. (periphrastic future of the present)
I think she will have told you. (future perfect of the present)

Past point of view:
I thought she would tell you. (future of the past)
I thought she was going to tell you. (periphrastic future of the past)
I thought she would have told you. (future perfect of the past)

CJ

CalifJim

I thought she would have told you. (future perfect of the past)

CJ

Thank you very much for the reply. Does this “would’ve” in the example provided by GPY below future perfect in the past too?

"It was January. By the end of the year he would have written his first novel."

anonymous
CalifJim

I thought she would have told you. (future perfect of the past)

CJ

Thank you very much for the reply. Does this “would’ve” in the example provided by GPY below future perfect in the past too?

"It was January. By the end of the year he would have written his first novel."

Yes. Definitely.

CJ

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Thank you both for your help.

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