I did not want/had not wanted to reply until I saw/have seen

Discussion in 'English Only' started by One Heart, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. One Heart Senior Member

    Egypt
    Egyptian Arabic
    Hi

    Background: Somebody has sent me some pictures via email and I am about to reply to him but I am not sure about the tenses here.

    A. I did not want to reply until I saw all the pictures. (I think it is correct)
    B. I had not wanted to replay until I saw all the pictures. (correct)
    C. I did not want to replay until I have seen all the picture. (not correct)
     
  2. idialegre Senior Member

    Hamburg, Germany
    USA English
    "A" is correct.
     
  3. sandpiperlily

    sandpiperlily Senior Member

    I would say:

    "I did not want to reply until I had seen all the pictures."

    NB: reply = respond; replay = play again
     
  4. zopqwe Senior Member

    Spanish (Arg)
    Watch it though, cause the A might also be construed as I wasn't gonna reply, but then I saw the pictures and changed my mind. So, to avoid any kind of misconstruction, I would say I didn't want to reply until I had seen all the pictures, that is, I didn't want to reply until I were done watching the pictures.
     
  5. zopqwe Senior Member

    Spanish (Arg)
    Oops, sandpiperlily beat me to the punch.
     
  6. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I agree with Sandpiperlily.
     
  7. One Heart Senior Member

    Egypt
    Egyptian Arabic
    I don't know why Sandpiperlily is correct as my intention 'not to reply' had happened before seeing the pictures.
     
  8. sandpiperlily

    sandpiperlily Senior Member

    If your original intention was to see all the pictures and then reply, then my suggestion is a little bit clearer. As zopqwe explains, saying "I did not want to reply until I saw the pictures" could also lead a reader to think that you didn't intend to reply at all, but then you saw the pictures and changed your mind.
     
  9. One Heart Senior Member

    Egypt
    Egyptian Arabic
    I agree that using the past simple is a bit ambiguous.

    However, it seems that I am missing something. Would you please be patient with me as it looks like I am a bit confused.?

    I had not wanted to reply until I saw all the pictures.

    What do you think about this one? Does it show that my intention 'not to reply' happened before seeing the pictures?
     
  10. sandpiperlily

    sandpiperlily Senior Member

    No problem, I know that English is a very confusing language! We're here to help.

    I think the key to showing that your original intention was to see all the pictures before replying is the use of "had seen" in the latter part of the sentence. Your latest example still leaves open the possibility that you hadn't intended to reply at all, but then "saw" the pictures and changed your mind.
     
  11. One Heart Senior Member

    Egypt
    Egyptian Arabic
    Thank you, sandpiperlily! Now I got it:)
     

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