...she <had wanted> to go to the party, but that her husband <hadn't felt> like...

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Sample sentences:

Susy tells Bill about the party she didn't go to a year ago:

I wanted to go to the party, but my husband didn't feel like being around people and wanted to stay home.

Bill tells someone else about what Susy told him week ago:

1. Susy told me that she had wanted to go to the party, but that her husband hadn't felt like being around people and had wanted to stay home.

2. Susy told me that she had wanted to go to the party, but that her husband didn't feel like being around people and wanted to stay home.

Question:

Are the bolded tenses correct in the context? Is sentence #2 better because it is simpler?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, shorter is nearly always better, provided the meaning is clear.

    I don’t see any real need to use the past perfect at all here.

    2. Susy told me that she did want to go to the party, but that her husband didn't feel like being around people and wanted to stay home.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks lingobingo.
    2. Susy told me that she did want to go to the party, but that her husband didn't feel like being around people and wanted to stay home.
    But this sentence could mean that Susy's original words were: 'I do want to go to the party, but my husband doesn't feel like being around people and wants to stay home.' We need an additional context to resolve this ambiguity. We need to mention earlier that Susy was talking about the party that she didn't go to a year ago.

    What if there is no additional context, is "had wanted" in my sentence #2 justified, or is it still awkward?
     
    Last edited:

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    But this sentence could mean that Susy's original words were: 'I do want to go to the party, but my husband doesn't feel like being around people and wants to stay home.'
    Doesn't matter.
    We need an additional context to resolve this ambiguity. We need to mention earlier that Susy was talking about the party that she didn't go to a year ago.
    "Susy told me that she did want to go to the party last month/year/Hallowe'en/February, but...."

    I agree with bingo:
    I don’t see any real need to use the past perfect at all here.
     

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the response, RM1(SS).
    "Susy told me that she did want to go to the party last month/year/Hallowe'en/February, but...."
    We don't need the past perfect because the bolded words are the additional context that helps resolve the ambiguity.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top