what the difference if I say"I expected to be invited" or

  • modgirl

    Senior Member
    USA English, French, Russian
    I expect to be invited = The invitations have not yet been sent, but when they are, I expect one!

    I expected to have been invited = The invitations have already been sent. Before they were sent, I thought that I would receive one. (The implication is that the person did not receive an invitation, yet he expected one)
     

    roniy

    Senior Member
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    modgirl said:
    I expect to be invited = The invitations have not yet been sent, but when they are, I expect one!

    I expected to have been invited = The invitations have already been sent. Before they were sent, I thought that I would receive one. (The implication is that the person did not receive an invitation, yet he expected one)
    i didnt say " I expect to be invited " with this sentence I know he differnce

    but what about this sentence "I expected to be invited" ???
     

    modgirl

    Senior Member
    USA English, French, Russian
    roniy said:
    i didnt say " I expect to be invited " with this sentence I know he differnce

    but what about this sentence "I expected to be invited" ???
    Obviously, expected is in the past tense. As I explained in the previous post, it's often said AFTER the invitations were issued. Thus, before the invitations were sent, the person anticipated receiving one but later on, probably didn't get one. I'll try to put it in context.

    Person A: I just received an invitation to the Smith wedding.

    Person B: I didn't receive one. I expected to be invited, but I wasn't.

    Expect in the present tense generally generally refers to an event (or statement) we think we happen in the future. Eg: If I don't pay the rent, then I expect my landlord to throw me out.

    Thus, when it's used in the past tense, it usually means that prior to an event (invitations being sent, in your example), someone anticipated that an invitation would be sent to him. We often use expected when the outcome didn't happen the way we wanted, but that isn't always the case.
     

    modgirl

    Senior Member
    USA English, French, Russian
    Oh wait, "to have been invited"

    Okay, I expected to be invited is simple past. The expectation occurred in the past. There may have been events that happened between the expectation and the current moment, but we don't know for certain. All we know is that the expectation occurred sometime before the current moment.

    I expected to have been invited.

    Hmm, the more I look at this, the more I think that it doesn't sound quite natural. If the invitations have already been issued, and I expected one before they were issued, I think I would say, I expected to be invited or I expected that I would have been invited.

    Perhaps someone else can help, but I'm afraid I can't. Sorry.
     

    Robot-savant

    New Member
    England, English
    1. "I expected to be invited."
    2. "I expected to have been invited."

    If you turned up at a party and were told you could not go in you might immediately say "I expected to be invited". When later talking about the episode you could talk about what happened: "I expected to have been invited". You could also use "I expected to be invited" when talking about it later but I prefer the sound of 2. for this.
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I agree with Modgirl. No. 2 sounds weird. In a real-life conversation, I would say, "I'm disappointed. I expected to be invited."

    "I expected to have been invited" says the same thing but is highly formal and wordy. I wouldn't expect to hear it in normal conversation, or ever, for that matter.
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    My ear likes "I had expected to be invited." Everything else strikes me as odd-sounding, and also violates logic.

    I'm finding the explanation kinda tricky, though. Implicit is that I learned, at some point in this sequence, that there was no invitation for me. That event predates my present state of disappointment. You expect to be invited, you learn that you aren't. This is the timeline in the abstract:

    Expect invitation --> learn the worst --> experience disappointment--> and say:

    "I had expected to be invited." (PPerf) --> learned I wasn't (P) --> am disappointed (Pr)

    You could say everything after the part in quotes, but it is all implied in your tone. It's also implied in the use of the past perfect (implying that something has intervened, in this case bad news). It's also implied by the nature of the verb expect, which involves an ongoing state of mind about the future. If you use the simple present or even present perfect ("I've expected an invitation"), the possibility clearly still exists that you expect an invitation. To express a statement about unmet expectations you have to establish that the expecations no longer exist, hence the tense-shift back in time.

    The more-recent-tense constructions sound odd not for purely grammatical reasons, but because the verb itself encompasses perspective-in-time, due to its meaning.

    This was a tricky one for me. The "right" answer seems very counterintuitive on the purely analytical level until you incorporate the definition of "to expect" as a matter of grammar, not just vocabulary.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    The explanation is actually quite simple, if you approach the two sentences the right way.

    I expected to be invited.

    At some specific point in time, I expected to be invited by some point later than that point. "Expected" refers to a point in the past, "to be invited" to a point after that point.

    I expected to have been invited.

    At some specific point in time, I expected to have already been invited before a certain point in time. That said, the second sentence is missing context.

    Today is August 8. The wedding took place on July 25. Last month, on July 8, I expected (was expecting) to have been invited by July 18. What actually happened is that I wasn't invited until July 23, just two days before the wedding.

    Compared with the first construction:

    On July 8, I expected (was expecting) to be invited [no reference to another point in time, although it is assumed that the person expects to be invited by July 25].

    It really boils down to how much you're expecting. In the first case, you're just expecting that someone will invite you. In the second case, you're expecting that someone will have invited you by a certain point.

    Incidentally, that point could also be the same as the past point.

    On July 18, I was sitting in my apartment, sulking. I (had) expected to have been invited by then.

    It could also be before:

    On July 20, I was flipping out. I (had) expected to have been invited by July 18.
     

    modgirl

    Senior Member
    USA English, French, Russian
    Moral of the story: invite roniy to every function from this point forward! ;)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top