I <hadn't thought> of that. (didn't think ?)

Phoebe1200

Senior Member
Russian-Russia
Criminal Minds, TV show
Context: When a family of four is abducted while on vacation in Barbados, the BAU works with another agency International Response Team, a unit tasked with solving cases that involve Americans abroad, in order to find out who is responsible. So they all leave for Barbados except the two tech analysts who stay in the US. Now the two tech analysts Garcia and Monty are talking to the relatives of the kidnapped family. Garcia asks them about Greg (their son who's kidnapped with his wife and kids).

Relatives: Greg won't let anyone hurt his family. Not without a hell of a fight.
Garcia: Good. See? That's good.
(Monty hearing what Garcia has just said excuses both of them and takes her out in the hall to say the following)
Monty: You just said that Greg being a fighter is a good thing, and we both know that that is not true. The UnSub (the bad guy who kidnapped the family) is gonna see it as some sort of alpha male challenge, which is not good at all.
Garcia: Okay, I hadn't thought of that.


The past perfect is used here because it means "I hadn't thought of that until you told me", right?

Also, can it be "I didn't think of that"?
 
  • Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Thank you.:)

    So "I didn't think of that" doesn't have to refer to a specific single incident in the past?
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    I'm a little confused.:confused:

    Is there a difference between saying "I hadn't thought of that" and "I didn't think of that" in the OP?
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    'I hadn't thought of that' implies 'I am thinking of it now': I am taking it seriously.

    'I didn't think of that' simply says 'That was not in my mind then'.
    This does not rule out that he is taking it seriously now, but it does not express it either.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    In the original context, I understand them as follows:
    I had not thought of that - it had not crossed my mind until you told me a moment ago, so now I see
    I did not think of that - I did not think of that at the moment I said what I last said (that it was a good thing)

    I agree with Wandle.
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    NCIS, TV show
    Context: Mcgee got bitten on the job by a dog whose owner was killed. But Mcgee hasn't got his rabies shot, so later Tony scares him telling him about all the ways he can get sick.

    Tony: Hey, they check you for rabies?
    Mcgee: No.
    Tony: What you should worry about is whether our dead petty officer, whose blood was all over the dog, cause he might have had some transmittable disease like - like herpes or Malaria.
    Mcgee: I hadn't thought about that.

    1) Is this the same usage as the OP?
    2) And "I didn't think about that" could have been used here too?
    3) And the difference would be the following?

    Mcgee: I hadn't thought about that.
    I didn't think of it before but now that you've told me I am thinking about it now.
    Mcgee: I didn't think about that.
    Simply means that I did not think of it before without implying that I'm thinking about it now.
     

    VicNicSor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    What you should worry about is whether our dead petty officer, whose blood was all over the dog, cause he might have had some transmittable disease like - like herpes or Malaria.
    The sentence doesn't make sense grammatically:)
    Simply means that I did not think of it before without implying that I'm thinking about it now.
    I think Simple Past would not work well here because there's no specific event to which it could refer.
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Thank you.

    But I really thought it was the same usage as in Criminal Minds.:confused:

    If Mcgee says "I hadn't thought about that." it implies 'I am thinking of it now': I am taking it seriously now.
    If Mcgee says "I didn't think about that." simply says 'That was not in my mind then'.
     

    VicNicSor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    If Mcgee says "I didn't think about that." simply says 'That was not in my mind then'.
    "Then" is when?:) Do you refer to the moment of biting? But Mcgge didn't think of that in a particular period -- since the biting till Tony telling him about it.

    In the OP it's different because it refers (can refer) to a particular event, when Garcia said "Good. See? That's good.".
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Really? I actually thought that that what it would mean in the OP that she just didn't think of that before.
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    I kind of thought that "then" in Wandle's post meant "before".:D

    So "I didn't think of/about that" always has to refer to a specific single incident in the past?
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    'Before' on its own is vague. Before what? If something is past, then it happened before the present.

    'Then' does not mean 'before'. It means 'at that time'. It can refer to any time other than the present.

    'Then' in my post 6 referred to the OP context: that is, to the time when Garcia formed in her mind the judgement 'Good'. That was before she said 'Good' (we do not know how long before).
     
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    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I kind of thought that "then" in Wandle's post meant "before".:D

    So "I didn't think of/about that" always has to refer to a specific single incident in the past?
    Yes, even if that incident's time of occurrence is only known to you.
    A. Let me feed the parrot.
    B. Wait. Your sister may have fed it already.
    A. Oh, I didn't think of that [= when I said I was going to feed the parrot]
     

    VicNicSor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I'm wondering, why it's different with "know".
    E.g., we would say "Did you know that spiders are not insects?", not "Had you known that spiders are not insects?"
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    It may have something to do with the nature of the verb, Vic... For instance, 'know' is usually stative, where 'think' can be both stative or active.
     

    VicNicSor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    It may have something to do with the nature of the verb, Vic... For instance, 'know' is usually stative, where 'think' can be both stative or active.
    Yes, but still, "know" can refer to a long period before something (as in my example with spiders), or to a specific event, e.g.:
    -- Why did you beat him?
    -- I didn't know he was your brother.
    just like in the two cases with "think" here...:confused:
     
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    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Why, that's not what "I didn't think of that" would mean in post #1...
    Thank you, Vic, for opening my eyes to the real meaning of it because I obviously misunderstood it.:)
    'Before' on its own is vague. Before what? If something is past, then it happened before the present.

    'Then' does not mean 'before'. It means 'at that time'. It can refer to any time other than the present.

    'Then' in my post 6 referred to the OP context: that is, to the time when Garcia formed in her mind the judgement 'Good'. That was before she said 'Good' (we do not know how long before).
    Thanks, Wandle. But what was before she said 'Good'?

    Yes, even if that incident's time of occurrence is only known to you.
    A. Let me feed the parrot.
    B. Wait. Your sister may have fed it already.
    A. Oh, I didn't think of that [= when I said I was going to feed the parrot]
    Thank you, boozer. Sorry, but I don't really get this example.:( Isn't it known to the sister here too since she heard me say "Let me feed the parrot."?
     
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