Bob regretted not having found out about...

Discussion in 'English Only' started by lapot, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. lapot

    lapot Senior Member

    Hello. I've got a question about an online test I'm taking. I've got the sentence: "Bob wished he had found out about the Open University five years earlier."
    I have to transform it into a new one using the word "regretted", so I think both of them may be correct.

    Bob regretted not finding out about the Open University five years earlier.
    Bob regretted not having found out about the Open University five years earlier.

    Are both correct?
    Thanks in advance, mates!
     
  2. gangstergirl

    gangstergirl Senior Member

    Hanoi
    Vietnamese
    Do you see "he had found out about the Open University five years earlier" in past perfect? So I think #2 is more correct. :) If the sentence is "Bob wished he found out about the Open University five years earlier.", both are correct :).
     
  3. e2efour

    e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 76)
    UK English
    Both sentences are correct but, as gangstergirl points out, one of them is closer to the original sentence.
    I won't say why since it's supposed to be a test! :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  4. neal41 Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA, English
    I agree with e2efour that both are correct. The second is better because finding out was prior to the regretting, and the past perfect more precisely expresses the fact that the two events took place at different times.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  5. lapot

    lapot Senior Member

    Glad to hear it! In fact the correct answer provided by them is the first one. The second option is mine. :)

    Thanks, guys!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  6. lapot

    lapot Senior Member

    I think you are right! But taking a second look at the sentence "Bob wished he found out about the Open University five years earlier." I think it's quite strange to use 'he found out' instead of 'he had found out' there. Am I right?

    This sentence seems incorrect or almost incorrect to me. But maybe I'm wrong. :(
    Any thoughts on this?
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  7. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    Yes. The word 'earlier' suggests that there was a relevant point in the past and that the finding out could have happened (but did not) five years earlier than that point in time.
    Thus the past perfect is needed to express that further stage back in the past.
     

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