hoped to have acquired the property by February

JungKim

Senior Member
Korean
An American news article titled "California company on verge of buying Kirkland's Totem Lake Malls property, redevelopment" has this:
While Centercal Properties was unavailable for comment, Planning Director Eric Shields said they are close to acquiring the property. Though Centercal hoped to have acquired the property by February, the King County Tax Accessor still lists co-owners Coventry Real Estate Advisors and Developers Diversified Realty as the owners.
The article was written in March and the the California company "Centercal Properties" hadn't yet acquired the property at the time of writing.

My question is whether the boldfaced portion can be rewritten as follows (in order to explore other possibilities):

Centercal hoped to have acquired the property in February :tick:

[ii] Centercal hoped to acquire the property in February :tick:

[iii] Centercal hoped to acquire the property by February :cross:

I think that the first two sound okay but not the last one.

Do you agree with me?

Any thoughts on whether each of the rewrites is natural would be appreciated.
 
Last edited:
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm sorry, JungKim, only the third of your options would work for me.

    The key point is the difference between "by" and "in": "by February" is not the same as "in February".
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Also, if the difference in meaning between the two prepositions were of little importance in context, would either or [ii] still be impossible? If, for example, the acquisition process had started early February and been expected to have finished by the end of February, I guess the inherent semantic difference between the prepositions doesn't necessarily lead to a different reading in context. In such a case where 'in' is also acceptable in context, would either or [ii] still be impossible?
     
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