"Hasn't expected" or "Didn't expect"

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Senior Member

I have some troubles here to know which tense I should use:
The Lord hasn't expected that those bloodthirsty weapons would corrupt them.
The Lord didn't expect that those bloodthirsty weapons would corrupt them.

  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Because the first sentence expresses the idea "...until now" - this is the usual force of using the perfect tense. (In fact you could add the words "until now" at the beginning or after "expected".)

    Which provokes the idea: "But I am so familiar with God's will that I know he's just changed his mind or is about to." A most improbable situation.

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    As Keith explains, this is unlikely but not impossible. There are examples of the present perfect of expect in the corpuses.

    I'm not sure that the Lord has to be God, and his not being God might make the contingency more likely.


    Senior Member
    English - British
    A possibility which is much more likely than 'hasn't expected' is 'hadn't expected'.
    This is used to signal a past change of expectation.
    Suppose someone gives a present which is much better than what would be usual.
    The delighted recipient says, 'Oh, I hadn't expected that!'
    This says there had been expectation beforehand, but not of such a good gift.

    Depending on context, 'hadn't' may fit your situation.
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